Category Archives: Dramatic Rules

Lesson #5 Dramatic rules David Mamet

Lesson #5 Dramatic rules (con’d) this video is 8:20 (eight minutes and twenty-seconds)

David Mamet starts this fifth video, the second on Dramatic rules with this line.


“The rules to me are very, very simple. …”

That sentence is a declarative sentence that drew me in, I wanted to know those rules.

  1. Tell the story
  2. Start at the beginning
  3. Go until you get to the end
  4. Don’t stop
  5. Be interesting
  6. Make sure everything is on the line

There was another part of this video where David Mamet mentions, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse a pamphlet of tips for playwriting. He said that we could find that pamphlet online. I am searching out the pamphlet I haven’t found it yet. Here are a couple of the rules that David talks about.

  1. Save your biggest laugh for the end of the second act
  2. At beginning of the second act remind the audience who they love and who hate
  3. Stop giving your best lines to the secondary characters

If you are interested in this course, maybe just curious here is the link to, or you can click on David Mamet at the top left sidebar.

David Mamet’s  Masterclass lesson Point A to Point B

David Mamet Masterclass

David Mamet’s  Masterclass lesson #4 Dramatic Rules

I watched this video, three times before I started taking notes.

Why so many times?

Answer: Because it was that good!

This lesson is –WOW! And I am not exaggerating. I am only on the fourth video and I have taken away something from each of those four videos. In Lesson #3 Mamet talked about how humans have two inclinations, ‘good inclination’—yetzer ha-tov—the ‘evil inclination’—yetzer ha-ra. I have been reading about these inclinations. To me, they are like a  tiny Devil on one shoulder and a tiny Angel on the other.

This video lesson #4 David Mamet is sitting at his desk looking at the camera,  and his first words are:

“Your job is to tell a story. A story a story has a hero, and he or she wants ‘one’ thing and the story begins when something precipitates the event.

From this point, some -not all-  of what he is saying  I have heard or read before.  But never in the way that David Mamet delivers it.
He points us to read, Aristotle Poetics, you can find it HERE.


David Mamet’s delivery, the way he imparts the information, is impressive. This video only lasted eleven minutes and forty-six seconds. I wanted more. I wanted to jump right into the next video lesson. I had to pull myself back. I had this Blog post to put together and I wanted to read Aristotle’s Poetics, first before jumping feet first into lesson #5

A little of what I learned,  was that the audience /reader is the hero of the story.

The Hero’s Journey
“Every play has to have a beginning middle an end – Just like a joke.” ~David Mamet

Inspired by situations

Your hero needs to be inspired from the inside out.

Aristotle’s Unities

David Mamet’s

From Dr. Wheeler’s “UNITIES, THREE (also known as the “three dramatic unities. A good play, according to this doctrine, must have three traits.
The first is unity of action (realistic events following a single plotline and a limited number of characters encompassed by a sense of verisimilitude).
The second is unity of time, meaning that the events should be limited to the two or three hours it takes to view the play, or at most to a single day of twelve or twenty-four hours compressed into those two or three hours.
The third is unity of space, meaning the play must take place in a single setting or location.

*It is notable that Shakespeare often broke the three unities in his plays, which may explain why these rules later were never as dominant in England as they were in French and Italian Neoclassical drama.”

Keep the story simple.

David Mamet’s

You decide where will your story start, and where will it end.


Simple maybe or not, but it is a start.