Friday, March 09, 2007

Well hello Lajos

Perhaps I live in a vacuum but, I, writing article addict, had not heard of Lajos Egri before yesterday. I stumbled across Notes on Lajos Egri’s Art of Creative Writing on Dark Cloud Press' website. Incredible.

Egri has some fundamental beliefs about creative writing which include:

"Every type of creative writing depends on the credibility of a character. Whatever a character does or says, he does or says for only two reasons:
1. To create sympathy for himself.
2. To show how important he is."

Every story needs a premise. "The premise is the seed from which the story grows. It is a thumbnail synopsis of the story you want to write."

"Desire is a mild word for the strongest motivation there is. Self-preservation is the second."

"Insecurity is the basic law of existence. All human emotions, good or evil, without exception, spring from this one eternal source."

"To create an original story, pick one individual with and outstanding trait. This person may embody all other virtues in existence, but they have one trait that makes them loveable or intolerable to live with. This character will totally possess one trait – one trait that is 100%. A compulsive trait. If you’re writing about a self-centered man, don’t make him just a little self-centered. Make his universe revolve around him alone."

Lots more. Go read the notes. I'm going to buy the book.


Unknown said...

Egri is great. Art of Dramatic Writing is one of my fav books.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Thanks for the recommendation... I'll for sure check it out.
I learned tons form Sol Stein's book, "Stein on Writing."

Jack W. Orf said...

It just occurred to me that there is an enormous amount of material just sitting in blogs. For example, your fellow Ontarion, Sharkychick ( has mysteriously disappeared.

She posted regularly since 2002, but now there hasn't been a post since December 31, 2006. Was she kidnapped by pirates?

Jennifer said...

Well you're not the only one...I didn't know about the book either. One more I'm adding to my list.

:) Thanks for sharing.

Rose Ghost said...

It's a really good book. I recommend sitting down and reading it properly, not just skim reading it. The first time I read The Art of Dramatic Writing it was like a revelation. Go for it. :-)