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on April 9, 2011
I saw one of Robert McKee's shows many years ago, and he seemed like a blowhard. Several people in the audience asked him questions and he tried to intimidate them into accepting his answers.

Then I bought his book, Story, and the 1st chapter seemed like the same man I remembered. So I put the book down for several years.

But too many people reviewed his book on Amazon with great reviews. So I decided to get through the entire book in spite of my bias.

Wow! Story, by Robert McKee, is THE book on writing a story, for the screen, or for a novel. It is complete, powerful, and filled with useful information for writing your story. This is an incredible work.

I used to think only John Truby's 22 Steps was the magnum opus for screenwriters and authors, but that was wrong. You need a good screenwriting class with a good teacher and two books. "Story" is a MUST, by Robert McKee, and 22 Steps, by John Truby is the second MUST. They do complement each other and contain significant material missing from the other. Also, if you can find it, Dara Marks' book, Inside Story. Hers is the only one I've read out of hundreds that gets into the reasons for Story B and Story C in a screenplay/novel. Blake Snyder is good too, but McKee and Truby are full course meals, and Snyder is only an after dinner cookie.

Why McKee's book? Here's an example: the Inciting Incident sets up, hints at and points to the Obligatory Scene - the Crisis and Climax. In a good story, the Inciting Incident foreshows the Obligatory Scene and makes the audience eager to get to that part of the story. It creates the true Central Story Question and triggers the first level of suspense for your audience.

McKee's book is your master plan for creating a good, solid story. Then deepen your story with Truby's help. You will be the Story Writing Master.
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on January 17, 2014
I just saw "Adaptation" again recently and really got a chuckle from seeing McKee's essential movie making book - and an actor playing McKee - in the storyline. Yes, I too found this book "Story" an often referenced book in my own story developments for documentary films. So, if you are a story maker, get this book. You'll have it all underlined after the first read thru and will go back to it often.
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on February 4, 2016
This is a must read book for anyone wishing to tell a remarkable story. Mr McKee has simplified and electrified the narrative. You will be a superior writer after reading this book. You may be transformed and inspired as I am to tell better stories of the every day of my life. Or increase your influence as a leader or spokesperson through story telling using his prescriptive direction. Follow the protocol and feel the difference in engagement and enrollment to your ideas
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on July 20, 2014
I'm so happy to have this book. The only reason I give 4 stars is because the discription said "Brand New", but the dust cover is a bit worn around the corners and there is a sticker from the previous owner on the copywrite page. So, not so "Brand New". However, it's in great condition none the less.
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on June 28, 2014
My son loves this movie, so I bought him the book once he realized it was based on a book. When it arrived, he was so excited to receive it in the mail. He hasn't finished it yet, but so far "it's AWESOME!"
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on January 11, 2003
Every page of this book is filled with insight into what makes stories tick, work and fly!
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on May 3, 2014
The Neverending Story is one of my favorite books of all time. I borrowed it from my local public library, and the quality of the book was wonderful. So I bought the Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition for my own private library. I thought I could read it over and over again. Each of my children could read it again and again, and it would still be in good condition for my grandchildren to read. I was mistaken. Oh, the cover is hardbound, and excellent quality. The pages, though, are like cheap newspaper, only flimsier. The cover would withstand any number of reads. The pages probably wouldn't make it through more than once.

The story is wonderful, as many other reviews will attest. But the Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition has been sent back. I will continue borrowing this book from my local public library.
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on February 8, 2008
By far the best book about the crafting of stories. McKee provides insights into story development that I haven't found in any other volume on screenwriting. Helped me immensely to be able to recognize viable plot lines, and understand why some stories just don't work. This is not a book for the beginning writer; it doesn't deal with such 101 stuff as script formatting. Rather, it's a higher level text for writers who have some knowledge of the craft. I go back again and again to this book.
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on September 4, 2011
Robert is a structural guru for sure. His analysis is clearly based on Aristotle's "Poetics." After-the-fact critique is one thing, but the act of creativity and venturing into the unknown is another. After all, creativity is a venture in the unknown or it's not creativity. I found it interesting that nowhere in his book was there to be found the words "fun," "explore," "joy'" "enjoyable," "freedom."Nowhere is there any mention of the pleasure of creative expression. Only socially acceptable achievement and the drudgery of having so-called "professional readers" finally judge your work as acceptable. Like all creative endeavors, writing should be a personal expression of one's spirit. Sometimes painful, sometimes reflective, sometimes joyous, and always creative. Form and structure should be the last stop on a wonderful creative journey. They alone do not constitute a work of interest or merit. Everything Mckee says is on the mark. It's just too bad there's no mention of the most important ingredient of all: The pleasure and fun of writing. What happened to that? The vast majority of films I see pretty much all have "acceptable" structure; however most of them are predictable, boring vehicles skillfully crafted for financial gain. No insight. No personal and unique explorations. No inspiring themes. Those come from the joy of creation. Not structure. Is form necessary? Absolutely, but let's not forget that passion propels work. Not simply a slashing will for a career.
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on April 23, 2001
There is no writer who cannot benefit from this book, whether you are a novelist or a playwright or a screenwriter. McKee is a terrific analyst and gives you the tools to analyse the scenes of your story. In an era in which structure and form are as important as the ability to create good characters, McKee provides the key to building your story so that it does what you want it to do. You cannot go wrong with the book, and the examples from movies are fascinating and illuminating.
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