MasterClass Online – Lesson 16 Scenes with David Mamet
Time to return to writing class again. Our previous lessons introduced drama, set rules, gave us purpose, structured plot, added dialogue, and gave us examples. We’re building our piece of drama one step at a time and now it’s time to break down a scene.
Our entire novel is an attempt to reach a goal for our main character, our hero of the story. Scenes a pieces that get us one step closer to that goal even if it sends us on a detour. Think of scenes as the mini problems that occur along the way of reaching our final point in our story.
Ask what the problem is for each scene? According to David, this is about asking “who wants what from who and what happens if they don’t get it?”
Once you ask yourself those questions, think about what your audience doesn’t care about. Throw out what isn’t essential. Would the audience really miss it? They don’t know what’s been cut. All they see is final edited novel.
The only thing that matters in the end is their final verdict. We can’t please everyone but would most of your readers think something was missing from the story? Would they feel like they had an ending even if your story is part of a series?
The last part is about today’s lesson is on taking risks. Throw caution to the wind. Your words should speak for themselves. Actors reading your words shouldn’t have to struggle or add extra emphasis.
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