Writing a screenplay is nothing like writing a novel: its concise, terse format presents a challenge to any writer who is used to the freedom of novel narrative. Robert McKee's book is just one of many that any newbie writer should read before writing a screenplay. His emphasis and dissection of effective story structure ensures that you too will begin to consider the technical aspect of your story: the hard part! Some people dislike the idea of the three-act structure, but to be honest, there's no way you can play with it until you understand it thoroughly. Don't read this book passively though: you'll need post-its, highlighters and a notebook in order to make the most of it. Dense and technical as it is at times, if you're serious about this screenwriting business you should set aside as much time to study the craft as you would to write. Here's the place to start.