Category Archives: lesson 8 Plot

Plotting your story is hard work

Lesson 8 David Mamet Plot

“Plot is all that there is. And that’s all that there is. And I say the perfect example is the joke. Right! There’s nothing in the joke that doesn’t not tend towards the punch line. Anything in the joke that does not tend toward the punchline kills the joke. And if you talk to comedy writers in LA, they have a saying among themselves what do you do all week? They are shaving syllables. They are taking out extra syllables “


“Everything in the joke tends towards the punch line. That’s what a plot is if it doesn’t tend towards the punchline take it out”

Listening to David Mamet on plotting is what makes these  MasterClasses worth their salt.

He tells us that plotting is something you learn, by creating plotlines.  And that each new piece, screenplay,  story, will need a new plotline.

Nothing generic here.  Over the years I have searched out, ‘how to write a plotline’ and found so many different answers.  David Mamet is right up front telling us that plotting is hard.  And you need a new one to fit each new project. So, shortcuts are out the window.

When you start listing out your plot, if there is anything that you wrote down, ‘that doesn’t take your original goal to the end’ then take it out.

Listening to David Mamet is worth the price of this course. I am only on video eight (8)   of twenty-six (26) and I have learned something from each of the  (8) classes.  If you would like to check out the site: click on his name in the top left sidebar.

Or just read my other posts on David Mamet classes.

Lesson 6