Some Lessons from a Master

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I’ve had the flu all week so I haven’t been thinking about much except which old war film I should next watch on TV.  I find them especially good to nap to.

But during my occasional glimmers of cognitive thought, I’ve been continuing to think about writing plays.  I thought I’d pass along these words of wisdom from David Mamet I saw the other day, courtesy of The Writers’ Guild blog:
QUESTION:WHAT IS DRAMA? DRAMA, AGAIN, IS THE QUEST OF THE HERO TO OVERCOME THOSE THINGS WHICH PREVENT HIM FROM ACHIEVING A SPECIFIC, ACUTE GOAL.

SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES OF EVERY SCENE THESE THREE QUESTIONS.

1) WHO WANTS WHAT?
2) WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DON’T GET IT?
3) WHY NOW?

THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE LITMUS PAPER. APPLY THEM, AND THEIR ANSWER WILL TELL YOU IF THE SCENE IS DRAMATIC OR NOT.

Sounds like this could be applied to any genre, really, doesn’t it?
And now, before I fall back into my fluish haze, I will wish you all a happy holiday, whatever you celebrate, and a reasonable April 1st:

Responses

Lauri said:

Hope you feel better, Sue. I agree that the litmus test works for all genres. The video made me a bit sad. I go for a job interview next week and perhaps my writing life is slipping from my fingers. I keep telling myself it will be a working holiday of two years away from my REAL job. Research.

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SueG said:

Thanks, JJ.
Laurie: I know. So frustrating. plus I just read the new guidelines set forth by ITC (Independent Theatre Guild)for new plays nd I look at that and wonder when? If?

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Carol said:

Awww hon, I’m so sorry that you have the dreaded lurgy..there is nothing worse!!

Get well soon and have a lovely Easter

C x

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DJ Kirkby said:

Sorry to hear you’re still not feeling 100%, hope you have a nice weekend despite your flu.

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Queenie said:

Those are indeed wise words and may just have helped me solve a plot problem in my current short story. Thank you, and I hope you’re feeling better now.

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Glyn Pope said:

Simple and to the point.
I have a word document ‘How To Write A Novel.’ I add to it from many sources. This shall be added.
Do get well soon.
Best wishes
Glyn

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lettuce said:

Hi Sue

wretched flu! i have a nasty cold but have been feeling lucky that its not flu. I hope you feel better soon and have a good easter.

interesting rules for drama, i shall think about these

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