David Mamet’s Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit | Movieline

David Mamet’s Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit. It’s written in caps, and made all the more entertaining for it.

Interested in writing and publishing digital books? We're building Pandamian — the easiest way to publish a book online.

Category: Linked List


  • http://www.blackhatmagick.com Kyt Dotson

    “YOU THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE EVERY SCENE IS DRAMATIC.”

    I really liked this. Especially tied to the three litmus tests and to tell the truth, it’s the way that I try to write myself, however, I also know my flaws.

    Insomuch that I latched onto this one:

    “THIS MEANS ALL THE ‘LITTLE’ EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD.”

    I do this sometimes so often it hurts, and I know one thing about it when I’m done: it’s filler. Basically it’s an attempt to grasp at the psychology of a triangular relationship without any sort of action, it’s all talk, and basically filler exposition. The only time I actually like this when I’m reading is when it ties off some loose end or adequately explains someone’s behavior (and then it must immediately be followed by someone acting on it.)

    Otherwise, I feel like a weird voyeur to bad gossip.

    Still growing as a writer. And I loved reading this in spite of the ALL CAPS, and in a sort of way, I felt as if I had someone bellowing at me from atop a windy mountain the entire time.

    May that storm pass, sail on, sail on.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    =) Again, sorry for the late reply … but I AGREE. THE CAPS WAS LIKE HE WAS YELLING AT ME TO IMPROVE BEFORE GODDAMMIT HE COMES OVER AND KICKS MY ASS!

    Okay I stop, I stop.

    I’d forgotten how hard it is to show – just show and not tell. Reminders like these are worth it.

  • http://www.blackhatmagick.com Kyt Dotson

    No worries about the replies, we’re all really busy these days.

    I know that sometimes when editing, I return to very “telling” text, take a deep breath, read the paragraph over and over, kill the paragraph and rewrite it. Overall, doing this to just one or two instances can improve the impact of a chapter by such a dramatic amount I almost made a quota for it.