Download PDF by GILBERT MILLER: The Art Of Dramatic Writing

By GILBERT MILLER

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She lost the necklace. Afraid to face the humiliating consequences she and her husband mortgage their inheritance and borrow money to buy a replica of the lost necklace. They work for ten long weary years to repay their debt. They become coarse, work-worn, ugly and old. Then they discover that the original lost necklace had been made of paste. What is the premise of this immortal story? We think it started with her daydreaming. A daydreamer is not necessarily a bad person. Daydreams are usually an escape from reality;—a reality which the dreamer has no courage to face.

What do you eat, think, like, dislike? Who are you, sociologically speaking? The third dimension, psychology, is the product of the other two. Their combined influence gives life to ambition, frustration, temperament, attitudes, complexes. Psychology, then, rounds out the three dimensions. If we wish to understand the action of any individual, we must look at the motivation which compels him to act as he does. Let us look first at his physical make-up. Is he sick? He may have a lingering illness that he knows nothing of, but the author must know about it because only in this way can he understand the character.

I'll bet," he thinks further, "that their victim had very little money on him. " Yes, yes, it's a good idea for a play, and he starts to work on it. But the story refuses to grow. After all, you can't write three acts about a holdup. The playwright storms, bewildered by his inability to write a play on what he is sure is a fine idea. A holdup is a holdup. Nothing new. The unusual angle might be the youth of the criminals. But why should such youngsters steal? Perhaps their parents don't give a thought to them.

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