Masterclass.com course: Dramatic Writing with David Mamet
Day 10 Lesson #10 Structuring Plot Continued:
After listening to lesson 10 with David Mamet, I found myself a little disconnected from the examples that related to a 3 act structure of a play. He used the example of a knife and the three different ways we use an object for each scene.
He went on to say that a knife can cut bread to nourish, a knife can shave a beard, and a knife can cause harm (less colorful or graphic than his example). I just couldn’t relate the uses of a knife to acts of a play. Maybe the last example was too gruesome.
However, his question to ask while creating each act and scene was a useful reminder for writers. He said that each incident or scene should advance or affect the journey of our main character. This is where the knife would make better use of itself by cutting the scene if it’s not creating a purpose.
While this lesson didn’t give me any bright revelations, I did manage to put together a summary of a structuring your plot:
Act 1: The journey begins to the final destination and there’s an incident that causes a detour or a deviation from the main path of the journey. This may be a point where your main character runs out of ideas.
Act 2: Your main character main be consumed with problems or lose their way. Your audience should have an idea of your character to anticipate what happens next. This is the point where your character has a revelation of some kind change. The finally listen to their “nagging character” or side kick.
Act 3: The final act answers the question of how they are going to reach their final destination or end of the story. The character returns to the their main goal and returns to the path.
Every writer must take the knowledge of other writers and just get started. There’s no other way to improve or find your way of plotting. Starting with an example of other authors is a start.
Let’s return to writing our novels.
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