What the professionals say

about Yves Lavandier's Writing Drama


N.B. To find out what the bloggers say about Writing Drama, click here.

"I can't say it any plainer: Read Writing Drama by Yves Lavandier. It is as important as Story by Robert McKee." – Larry Myles (Red Inkworks)

"This book is bad-ass, an encyclopedia of all things story, and it blew my mind. It really is on a par with McKee's Story, yet in some ways is more accessible and flat-out cooler. A French import written by a man whose brain is bigger than I can conceive. It's not cheap and it's worth every penny." – Jim Cirile (writer, Coverage Ink/Writers on the Storm)

"Forget the Americans. Scriptwriters, script editors, development execs, producers and commissioning editors could do very much worse than take Lavandier's book as a standard guide to terminology and good practice. If everyone knew the contents of this book, we'd be producing better scripts and better films, with less time and money wasted, and many fewer frustrated writers, producers and, most of all, spectators." – Mark McIlrath (screenwriter, script editor)

"Yves Lavandier's book is the most thorough and challenging work of its kind to come out since the birth of scriptwriting. It is an obvious must for all professionals. But there's more: behind this scrupulous pursuit of quality and construction lies an awesome love of cinema and dramatic narrative in general." – Françis Veber (playwright, screenwriter, director, The Dinner Game, The Goat, The Closet, Three Fugitives, A Pain in the A..., etc)

"Writing Drama is a very smart, thorough, complex but not complicated book. It's a good read that rounds out so many of the important concepts in screenwriting. Yves knows his material well, and knows how to present it in with an inspiring and accessible approach. And it's an excellent complement to the many American screenwriting books now on the market." – Linda Seger (consultant, author of Making a Good Script Great, Creating Unforgettable Characters, etc)

"Yves Lavandier’s book is truly amazing to me – it is mind-boggling how comprehensive it is. So many examples of drama analyzed in such fine detail and from so many different perspectives, and all very clear and, I think, entertaining to read. To go back and read through such a marvelous book is certainly a pleasure for me, and a reminder of the lessons I have taught myself over the years. Yves Lavandier also introduces me to many movies and plays that I have not yet seen and will certainly make a point of adding to my “vocabulary”." – Danny Rubin (screenwriter, Groundhog Day, etc)

"The appearance of an English translation of Yves Lavandier's 500+ page French classic Writing Drama is cause for celebration. (...) Learned and challenging, Lavandier's book is not pap for the quick read. This is material for those genuinely interested in the roots, rise, and nature of dramatic storytelling. (...) I prefer Lavandier's book to Robert McKee's Story, probably the only book with comparable ambition." – Charles Deemer (playwright, screenwriter, teacher, author of Screenwright: the craft of screenwriting)

"Writing Drama, a tour de force new book, is so comprehensive that it could be the basis for a degree course in scriptwriting by itself." – Julian Friedmann (literary and screenwriting agent, ScriptWriter Magazine editor)

"Comprehensive and detailed. A treasure trove of usable information." – Dave Trottier (writer, author of The Screenwriter's Bible)

"Yves Lavandier has done a great and massive job of exploring many many different elements of dramaturgy, both theoretical and very practical. It is intriguing and useful. (...) It works so that things follow in a logical progression but you can also just open the book at any place and find something of interest. (...) In short I think Writing Drama is a very valuable, refreshing text." – Tom Abrams (screenwriter, director and associate professor at USC's Film School)

"The bible amongst bibles." – Michel Munz (screenwriter and director, Would I Lie to You?, If I Were a Rich Man, etc)

"Writing Drama is so intelligent and insightful. Yves Lavandier's passion and knowledge just shine through. His book should be required reading in universities where dramatic writing is taught." – Maggie Soboil (producer, director, Myron's Movie)

"There are very few books in France that teach the art of scriptwriting… Aside from Aristotle's Poetics, only one book matches the English speaking literature on the subject: Writing Drama by Yves Lavandier." – Jacques Audiard (screenwriter and director, Read My Lips, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, etc)

"Incredibly thorough."Larry Engel (producer, director, teacher at Columbia University's Film School)

"Bookstores would save on shelf space if nothing but Writing Drama were on display. It's the only thorough book on scriptwriting around. Yves Lavandier has carefully and methodically assembled every principle on the 'how to' of writing."Michel Alexandre (screenwriter, L.627, Thieves, etc)

"Writing Drama can be of use to all those–scriptwriters, authors, teachers, playwrights–who share Denis Diderot's opinion that plays with well written dialogue far outnumber plays that are well constructed." – Michel Azama (playwright, Croisades, Aztèques, Le sas, etc)

"Yves Lavandier is a living god to all screenwriters." – Frédéric Beigbeder (author, literary critic, 99 Francs, etc)

"Writing Drama is a thorough and inspiring book with good examplification and a good coverage of the challenges a playwright faces." – Gunnar Germundson (head of the Norwegian Playwrights' Association)

"Writing Drama is a reference work. It won't write the script for you but it will help bring out your ideas." – Luc Béraud (screenwriter, director, The Best Way to Walk, Heat of Desire, etc)

"American books put forth theorems; Yves Lavandier explores principles." – Martin Brossollet (screenwriter)

"I had a great time reading Writing Drama ... It's exciting, stimulating and totally gripping… In addition to its theoretical content, I appreciated the wealth of useful examples drawn from centuries of oral literature, theatre, books, films…and life. It's a real gift for scriptwriters and movie-goers. I'm a fan!" – Laetitia Colombani (actress, screenwriter, director, He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not)

"Lavandier's book was a revelation for me. The ideas it puts forth are extensively backed up (...) and free of dogmatism (...), every so often bringing in, mischievously, an example or counterexample like an invitation to transgress. In short, a jubilant book that you read from beginning to end and then all over again, zigzagging, skimming, opening at random, just for the joy of it." – Roger Kahane (screenwriter, director, I'm Alive and I Love You)

"There are hundreds of other books about scripts, in all languages, but this one is simple, clear, funny, multimedia, erudite, and never a pain in the ass. In other words, it's the best." – Frédéric Krivine (screenwriter, director, P.J., Une deuxième chance, Nom de code : DP, etc)

"Writing Drama is very handy. Everything is ordered and indexed. It's full of drawers, windows and hidden doorways into the imagination. You can trust it with your gems. And now that Writing Drama exists, we can no longer say: 'I didn't know!'" – Eric Le Roch (actor, director, Le soleil au-dessus des nuages)

"Writing Drama has opened my eyes about the principles we use without formalising. It has helped me go straight to the source of the problems that come up when working on a script." – Thierry Lhermitte (actor, screenwriter, producer, French Fried Vacation, Le Père Noël est une ordure, An Indian in Paris, etc)

"Even if I don't agree with everything Yves Lavandier says, I think that all producers should have a copy of Writing Drama on their bedside table." – Jean-Louis Livi (producer, My Father the Hero, Read My Lips, You Are so Beautiful, etc)

"You can read Writing Drama before you start writing, but I'd advise reading it after a first draft of your script. You'll then find excellent tools for making the most of your story. You'll even catch yourself thinking: 'He's right! How come I didn't figure that out?!'." – Philippe Muyl (screenwriter, director, Kitchen with Apartment, The Butterfly, etc)

"At last, a valuable work that frees us from the grip of those dramatic arts exegetes, those 'theatre practitioners' who enter the realm of writing, making sure they shut the door behind them." – Christian Rauth (actor, screenwriter, Omnibus, Les Monos, etc)

"A word of advice before reading Writing Drama : write two or three feature film scripts. This outline of the art of storytelling will then seem luminous. But if you're impatient, just go ahead and gobble it up. You'll learn at least one thing: the scriptwriter's imagination is mainly a matter of logic and reflection." – Jean-Pierre Ronssin (screenwriter, director, The Discreet, The Indecisive Guy, etc)

"By describing and explaining narrative mechanisms, Writing Drama offers more than the flavour of stories. It's like a good cookbook: you don't necessarily have to follow all the instructions, but each page whets your appetite… for reading, writing or filming. It is therefore an important and generous book." – Pierre Salvadori (screenwriter, director, Wild Target, After You, Priceless, etc)

"... I felt like Monsieur Jourdain in Molière's The Bourgeois Gentleman: I've been speaking Lavandier all my life and didn't even know it!" – Danièle Thompson (screenwriter, director, Don't Look Now We're Being Shot at, Queen Margot, Orchestra Seats, etc)

"Writing Drama is a veritable goldmine. It not only includes theories, advice and information, it is also a book on film passion. Filmgoers should read it, to better understand the films they see." - Camillo de Marco (Cineuropa's editor in chief)