Plays are Rhetorical Acts and Scholarship

As a creative writer, and rhetorician, I embrace the idea that my works aim to persuade and motivate people to act. Trying to explain that creative writing is an expression of theory in practice, applied knowledge of rhetorical analyses, is proving to be a challenge. I turn to Wayne C. Booth for inspiration. Any other ideas on how to approach this question?

I outline, I plan, I study rhetorical traditions from theater, religion, politics, and education. I turn to Isocrates, Sophocles, Aristotle, Aristophanes, and traditions across the centuries.

Other writers work through these analyses, but maybe not as consciously. We ready other writers, we study other scripts, we examine what has and what has not affected change. If we seek to entertain, we study those works that have succeeded by that measure and turn to scholarship on form and structure.

Creative writing, and all art, is scholarly. It must be, to be effective.


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