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Drama is writing that is meant to be portrayed by live actors. In this book, we will focus on drama written for the stage, though in a broader context drama might also be written for the movies or television. Though those forms share many of the same features, there are also many conventions that are very different between the theater and cinema or television. Because the theater is the original form of drama and because it can be less complicated than the more technological forms of cinema and television, we will focus on it. Of course, the theater can be as complicated as other forms, but it’s a little easier to strip it down to just the basics and still produce something that could be performed as a play. When you write drama for the stage, you write a script rather than a story or a poem. The conventions of scriptwriting are different from the conventions of fiction or poetry (and the conventions of writing a screenplay or a television script are even more different). I will try to give a basic introduction to scriptwriting in this chapter, though there is much more to learn about writing plays.
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