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Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
In Story, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the "magic" of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.
About the Author
- ASIN : B0042FZVOY
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (September 28, 2010)
- Publication date : September 28, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 1497 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 490 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #49,091 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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If you have an ounce of raw story telling talent, or if u consider yourself professional, this book is for you. Or if you appreciate the art of storytelling; or if u work in the industry and get scripts across your desk, this book is for you.
I do not write scripts and have no plans to; I was introduced to this book years ago when reviewing a script someone was interested in getting funded and felt appropriate to educate myself on what makes a script great... Bc we all know when a script isn’t, but not necessarily Why. Robert blew my mind w this one; the depth, the clarity, the profundity and the genius simplification of one of the most complex art forms - telling stories about the human experience.
The essence of the art form is principled out in the book. I’ve been raving about this book since I first read it in 2017, lent my hand-me-down copy, and bought my own last week to do a little book club w my gf. We enjoy watching episodics and movies and have a great time articulating why we think stories are great. I’m super excited diving back into this book again especially w a partner.
In my over simplified, outsider opinion, this book is THE formula, the “bible” so to say, of the who what where when and most importantly WHY of scripting for screen.
Just buy it. Buy two copies and gift one to your writing buddy or a director u work with. Heck, buy 3 copies and keep on in the car or at the office. Again, ~25$ - wow.
If u want to get your script funded - this is the next place for you to go. Scripts are picked up bc they will sell, and in order to sell they have resonate universally. This book explains the essence, the principles of the art form of script writing. If you really think you have what it takes to be an all star writer then digesting this book should 100% fun for you.
Just my 3 cents... again I have no plans of writing and I’m not a writer. But I enjoy the art form and I respect the mastery of technical and creative that blend as genius and excellence. For me, having this knowledge has made stories on screen that much more enjoyable as I watch the principles outlined in this book play themselves out like clockwork.
I hope I’ve made it clear how magnificent and remarkable this book is in both knowledge and presentation. The hugest shoutout to Robert McKee and his wife who apparently edited this. And shoutout to all the other people behind the scenes on making this book happen. It’s brought me tons of joy, entertainment, knowledge and invigoration. And quite honestly had widened my perspective of the human condition and life itself.
Just buy it, and read it. Take notes. Study it. Use it. Capitalize on it if script writing and story telling is in your cards.
And if u love this book as much as I do let’s start a club lol.
This is more of an academic text then a step-by-step guide to creating a screenplay or novel. I don't disagree with anything McKee says, but I find some of his approach difficult to apply when you're drafting. For example I've tried using value shifts and teaching them to other writers and mostly failed. It's not that value shifts are wrong, it's just that using them requires you to engage the analytical part of your brain. When you're drafting, you need to turn the analytical part of your brain off and let your creative part take over. When you're revising, value shifts are more useful.
A lot of the theory presented in this book is like that. It'll tell you what you're shooting for in the finished product, but not how to go from blank page to something worth continuing to shape.
Additionally, McKee occasionally goes on tangents to express strong opinions about the state of storytelling that show why earned a reputation for being grumpy and made me reconnect with my eye-rolling inner teenager.
As you'd expect in a book about screenwriting, the examples are all films, several of which were a few decades old at the time of the book’s publication in the 90's. (Casablanca, Kramer vs. Kramer, Chinatown)
Even if you don't love everything McKee says, he's so famous and influential as a storytelling expert it's good to know how he describes storytelling concepts. You're sure to meet people who've attended his seminars and use his ideas. This book is a low-cost alternative to attending one of those seminars yourself.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is well written and gives so much insight into the process. It has made watching films / TV shows very different for me now as I feel like I understand story much better
There's no doubting the author's credentials, he is one of the heavyweights of Hollywood. He pulls no punches in pointing out the many (in his eyes) flaws in modern screenwriting. Some of the concepts are a bit hard to follow, but hey it's a book you can always re-read when it comes to preparing your masterworks.
My only niggle with the book is he does cite the French New Wave - Brunuel, Godard as well as Ingmar Bergman an awful lot. The only American writer who gets a look in is Robert Towne. Perhaps McKee doesn't rate any of the Scorseses or Spielbergs but it would have been good to at least get his take on their (immensley successful) approaches to story.
Despite all the self-analysis, smashing of preconceptions, and an awful lot of honest (are you sure you can do this?) talk, McKee has crafted a text that spurs the budding writer on. It builds confidence by presenting the tools, saying 'Look, this works' and then setting you free. His parting message is to be courageous. Something that I have learned and will be putting into practice today, and everyday from now on.
I was bogged down, struggling to write when I realized that I did not have any knowledge or tools for the job, and I needed to learn about writing. So I bought this book.
Robert McKee beautifully and succinctly gives you everything you need to create a good story.
A must read for screenwriters, but certainly a recommended read for directors, playwrights, actors, novelists, and anyone who endeavors to be a storyteller.