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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Instinctive Screenplay

Watching and Writing Screen Drama

ISBN 9781137607508
Publication Date September 2017
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

What is it that makes humans engage with a dramatic narrative? Is it linked to our primitive selves, contained within our instinctive experience?

This innovative text argues that understanding how and why our human instincts are brought into play as we watch screen drama is the key to writing it. Analysing four powerful instincts – willpower, logic, morality and emotion – Sam North explores how they determine our level of involvement in their drama, and how screenwriters can use them to develop their craft. Including a variety of both well-known and less famous examples, from The Shawshank Redemption to Samira Makhmalbaf’s The Apple, this book offers a fresh new approach to thinking about, discussing and writing screenplays.

Sam North is an award-winning writer and is Senior Lecturer of English at the University of Exeter, UK.

1. The Map of Desire
2. Logic Junkie
3. The Line in the Sand
4. Moods and Mental States


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