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Top Customer Reviews
His other books, The Golden Theme and Invisible Ink are stellar and this is right up there. Brians focus is "storytelling" not just writing and thats what separates him from the rest. The book is a collection of blog posts about the craft of storytelling and is meant to be used as more of a guide rather than a dogmatic formula that the other guru's teach. In fact there is no formula at all, just the substance of story and how to make one.
Of course, to be fair and to be clear, these essays are a compilation of posts from Brian's Invisible Ink blog, so there's a chance you may have already read some of this material if you've been following him for a while. Keep that in mind if it's something that'll bother you. Then again, most of Brian's stuff stands up to repeated readings and there's plenty of good stuff here that you may have missed the first time around, so it really shouldn't bother you.
Bottom Line: If you're a fan of Brian McDonald, this is a book worth getting.
Also, I found the character in relation to plot segments particularly helpful in defining what to include and what to leave out of a story in order to move it forward to provide reader/viewer identification.
There's also a terrific life lesson in stories he tells: if you want to be good at something, learn everything you can from the people who came before you. That's not just screenwriting, obviously.
My own rating system assigns 4 stars to a book that I'll want to read again, and this one qualifies. McDonald's style is clear and engaging, he says what he has to say without wasting words, and what he has to say is worth hearing.
I enjoyed the real-life writing observations that McDonald drew in his first section, Things I've Learned, felt cogs click and spin as I moved into his Thoughts on Craft, which gave me a lot of "head-nodding" moments, and then I watched it all blend together in the third part, Movies I Like. In this final section, I saw working examples of the powerful storytelling that McDonald celebrates, as demonstrated by films that practice the careful storytelling that he preaches. I was skeptical at first about the Movies I Like section, and yet found myself delightfully surprised by what I learned (I also have a list of films I need to watch again, and more carefully!).
This is a great book for all writers, especially those who are interested in the essence of what makes a profound story that endures in the hearts and minds of your audience/readers long after they have stopped seeing, reading, or hearing your words.
I've been following Brian McDonald's Invisible Ink blog for years now. When I heard that he was going to collect his best posts into a book, I knew I had to get it. I love Brian's blog posts. I learn so much about the craft of writing, story structure and great movies every time I read his blog.
INK SPOTS hits the spot. Whenever I need some inspiration, a shot in the arm, or am feeling down about my writing and just need a break from it, I read one of Brian's stories in INK SPOTS. Takes 5 minutes or so. And then I'm back in the game.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brian McDonald is a genius. I enjoy reading anything by him because he breaks it down better than anyone in a manner you can easily see.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
A refreshing voice in the world of screenwriting how-to books...in a collection of previously-published blog posts, McDonald drives home the need for more carefully-crafted stories... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
A must read for anyone whom is already a fan of McDonald. It will not disappoint in the least! 5 stars.Published 16 months ago by Melvin Todd
When I found Brian McDonald's books, it sure made me a better screenwriting teacher. He could express plainly and in the form of anectodes (which are no more than small stories)... Read morePublished on April 25, 2014 by THIAGO BARSOTTI FOGACA
This is the book that made me take my writing seriously. Thanks to Brian, I feel inspired to write. I would recommend this as inspirational (more than a how-to) for anyone who... Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by KelciDCrawford
This book is a classic for writers who want to get there fast. Brian McDonald speaks to us clearly and with insight.Published on May 1, 2013 by Richard