Lucy's second outing for Creative Essentials easily tops the first, despite the fact she chooses to write about the arguably more difficult and ambiguous genre of drama.
Reading through the book it's easy to see Lucy has grown in confidence since her last outing as her writing is more assured and she has an obvious fascination for the subject. I get the impression she really enjoyed working on this one and it shows by the amount of detail she goes into.
Lucy begins by exploring what drama isn't, highlighting the common mistakes most new writers make, differentiating between 'writing' and actually 'selling' drama screenplays, showing how easy it is to write bleak, depressing drama where everyone suffers before dying (or worse) and giving reasons why this type of drama is almost impossible to sell, but can however, be used as the perfect tool for a calling card script. Later she helps guide the reader by further splitting down drama into sub genres, such as - The Short Film, The True Story, The Enlightenment Story, The Morality Tale and so on, giving examples for each, so the reader can define their own idea more clearly and prevent them from succumbing to the usual pitfalls.
What I like most about Lucy's book is she has obviously spent a great deal of time watching and researching drama, because she not only uses produced examples but also unproduced ones. These examples are littered with solid reasons why Lucy thinks they work, plenty of helpful writing tips and important selling points to make the reader's own dramas more saleable. Add this to interviews with the writers and the reader has a comprehensive view of how and how not to write drama screenplays.
Throughout the book Lucy also explores emotional truth, emotional response, theme, common themes and ideas to avoid, what sells, characters, stereotypes, archetypes, depressing verses devastating, character arcs and change, change agents, closed protagonists, loglines, structure, linear verses non-linear, less dialogue, SCREENplay verses screenPLAY, the difference between internal and external conflict and even provides a handy drama resource that can be download from her site to help the reader really define their own drama.
Thoroughly researched, Drama Screenplays it jam packed with valuable information, laid out in an easily accessible way and is a must for any writer, new or established, as a start to finish guide or just to refresh their knowledge.