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Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate Paperback – January 11, 2010
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More About the Author
A sought after instructor and consultant, Brian has taught his story structure seminar at PIXAR, DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION and LUCASFILM's ILM.
McDonald is the author of INVISIBLE INK -- A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BUILDING STORIES THAT RESONATE, THE GOLDEN THEME - HOW TO MAKE YOUR WRITING APPEAL TO THE HIGHEST COMMON DENOMINATOR, FREEMAN -- A NOVELLA IN SCREENPLAY FORM and INK SPOTS -- COLLECTED WRITINGS ON STORY STRUCTURE, FILMMAKING AND CRAFTSMANSHIP.
His books are considered required reading for Pixar story interns. McDonald has worked on the Red Badge project for the US Army - a program designed to help returning vets suffering from PTSD learn to write stories in order to help them in their healing.
Top Customer Reviews
-Full of techniques I've never heard of (& yup, I went to film school)
-Ready-to-use: I learned to keep a notebook with me as I read. I kept finding solutions to problems with the play I was writing at the time.
-A fun read: Most books on screenwriting are a terrible bore. Reading this book is like sitting down with a favorite professor who tells you all the secrets of the writing universe.
On every future writing project, there will be an "Invisible Ink technique" pass. I highly recommend this book!
When telling ANY story, the construction is what's most important (A good idea, executed poorly, is a bad idea). Every detail (plot, characters, scenes, dialog, etc.) all hang from it's skeleton. If the foundation is weak, the details won't matter.
I've read and owned every major book regarding stories, screenwriting, dialog and character development (Poetics, Robert McKee's "Story," Syd Field's Books and DVD, All of Joseph Campbell and Linda Seger's work, Bill Idelson's Writing Class, etc.)... and still NONE OF THEM teach what this book does!!! Brian breaks down stories better then anyone! He does to story structure what Bruce Lee did to Martial Arts. He's come along and smashed conventional wisdom by simplifying everything and getting to the heart of what stories are about and what makes them work. Here you will get the bedrock fundamentals on the purpose, creation and power of the art of storytelling. No frills, just the straight goods.Read more ›
It is even more fit for anyone who thinks they ARE already a great storyteller and just need the book to give them confirmation. Because it WON'T. It will show you how much you don't know, and in some cases how much you have been cheated by movies today, and how much you'll be cheating your audience if you don't understand and LIVE by these story principles that are all bigger than us.
Knowing you don't know a thing - is the first step to becoming a great storyteller...Why? I'll tell you my story...
Once upon a time I first began screenwriting and filmmaking. Everyday I wanted to make films that were smart, powerful, got into festivals, won awards, and made you think. And, after four shortfilms, I have got into festivals and have experienced people tell me that my work was smart, powerful, I've even won some awards, and people said my films made them think...A lot. And immediately I began to think my work was strong, I was a good filmmaker, a good storyteller, I thought I was also a smart filmmaker.
Until one day friend of mine turned me on to Brian McDonald's storystructure course. And on that day, I discovered that I couldn't have been more dumb. WHY? Because nothing in my ambitions of telling stories had anything to do with making them resonate with audiences in a way that MADE THEM FEEL!! And because of this, I felt like I truly missed the boat with my shortfilms. I felt like I cheated my audience.Read more ›
Wow! Without a doubt, this is the most useful and directly applicable book on the craft of storytelling I've ever read. It really shows that MacDonald is an industry pro and an educator, because he focuses on the mistakes that fairly practiced writers make, mistakes that beginners won't even get to for a while.
I've written many story stories, two published, one taking 1st Place in a Writer's Digest competition. I've struggled for a long time to figure out what-the-heck I did that worked so well in those two stories but was evidently missing from all the others. Thanks to Invisible Ink, now I know! And I'm excited to pull out those other stories and start rewriting.
If you're a practiced writer ready to take it to the next level, "Invisible Ink" is what you need.
Some will look at the contents of this book and brush it off as Hollywood 'formula.' Just another in a long line of guides spouting more Joseph Campbellisms! I completely understand this sentiment. I admire that rebellious streak. But simply keep it in check while you take a gander at Invisible Ink and be open to Brian's wisdom and realize that most of our contempt for 'formula' stems from those who use it poorly. There will be great films mentioned in the book... true favorites... of which you won't even realize these fundamentals were chugging away without you even knowing.
Brian practices what he preaches. His writing is always simple, clear, and a breeze to read. The book will fly by. But don't think for a second that means its creation was a cinch. If you get anything out of this book, it should be that it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to make this stuff look easy. It is anything but.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Insightful and to the point. A rewardingly quick, sometimes amusing read, with excellent tips for writers of all levels looking to introduce depth to their work.Published 6 days ago by Ruby Lohr
My son read this in one day! That tells you how great this book is for those who love to create with words.Published 1 month ago by Truthful Amazon Reviewer
There are only a handful of books that earn your respect as you read them. Invisible Ink takes the task of writing and breaks it down into a thoughtful, simple idea. Read morePublished 1 month ago by G DAVID
I enjoyed reading this book and will definitely go back through it. I find myself labeling aspects of story when watching movies now (that character is a clone, and that one's a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by jayce
I can not express enough how much I LOVE this book. Brian's insights are extremely valuable and easy to understand. it is a must have for any story teller or creative type. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andie desi
Invisible Ink is an essential book for anyone interested in storytelling. Filled with important, essential and thought-provoking ideas, it is a mentor in a book. Mr. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David R Clarke
I majored in writing at university, and I've studied writing for more than a decade—I've read shelves and shelves of writing books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frugalmomma