Customer Reviews


86 Reviews
5 star:
 (54)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


126 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration guaranteed, if you think you're hard enough!
Putting pen to paper is not as simple as putting pen to paper. And this only becomes evident when you've read a book like this.
This book's inspiring. It's to the point. And - although written primarily for screen writers - it's invaluale for anyone who thinks they have a story in them.
If you're a keen writer like me, you may have sat yourself down at a...
Published on 7 Jan 2003 by C. Kilvington

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, poor edition
I was so excited to see the kindle edition of Story. The book itself is one of my favourites. What a shame the images towards the end of the book are so poorly scanned. Could the original clean image not have been recreated?
Published on 20 Dec 2011 by Rose


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

126 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration guaranteed, if you think you're hard enough!, 7 Jan 2003
By 
C. Kilvington (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Putting pen to paper is not as simple as putting pen to paper. And this only becomes evident when you've read a book like this.
This book's inspiring. It's to the point. And - although written primarily for screen writers - it's invaluale for anyone who thinks they have a story in them.
If you're a keen writer like me, you may have sat yourself down at a computer with an idea, started writing, scratching your head and wondering whether it's good or not. Step up Robert McKee:
"When talented writers write badly it's generally for one of two reasons: either they're blinded by an idea that they feel compelled to prove, or they're driven by an emotion they need to express. When talented people write well, it's generally for this reason: they're moved by a desire to touch an audience."
I'm not saying I'm a 'talented writer', but this statement hit home. McKee states that "story is not what you have to say, but how you say it." Writing should be 75% story design and 25% words. This is one of many revelations.....of which there are many.
By reading a book like this you can not only put a structure to the words that come out of your head, you can learn more about why people need stories, why they work and why they don't. How do you keep your audience's attention all the way through, how do you build them up to a climax, how do you make sure characters and story elements aren't cliched, and how do you appeal to a wide audience? Each is discussed in satisfying detail.
The other nice thing aout the book is that McKee talks 'forms' rather than 'formulas'. He's not saying that we should stick to rules - resulting in cliches - but just observe why things work. The 450 odd pages are also peppered with film examples too, which helps.
Put simply, this book is invaluable to you if you're writing a story, or just interested in them. Be warned though, it is dense and somethimes daunting - you need to set aside a good couple of weeks. Like others reviewing here though, I'm going back for a second read to take notes. And considering this is something I didn't even do for school exams, it gives you an idea of how much I value McKee's inspiration.
If you want to make your writing something others want to read too, BUY NOW.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A substantial, often brilliant book, 1 Dec 2001
By 
McKee analyses not just movie plots but the principles of dynamic storytelling, dramatising his general points with perceptive commentaries on individual scenes and sequences. The audio cassette is greatly condensed from the book, but adds the impact of the author's forceful, atmospheric delivery. Both versions are well worth having.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable!, 14 Jun 2000
By 
Mr. M. J. Mindel "Mike Mindel" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
This is simply the best book available for the aspiring screenwriter (and I've read most of them).
McKee fleshes out many important concepts (including turning points, the nature of irony) in a thoroughly readable journey into the nature of story - how and why it works.
But more importantly he shows us how to construct a 'great story well told'.
If there is just one screenwriting book on your bookshelf, make this it.
Do not let this one pass you by.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential!, 30 Mar 2004
By A Customer
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, poor edition, 20 Dec 2011
I was so excited to see the kindle edition of Story. The book itself is one of my favourites. What a shame the images towards the end of the book are so poorly scanned. Could the original clean image not have been recreated?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great information but verbose and self-indulgent delivery, 8 July 2009
By 
Script Angel (Solihull, England) - See all my reviews
As a professinal script editor I can honestly say that there's little here to disagree with. He's not wrong when he says that these story structures work in delivering satisfying scripts and if your script isn't a great read it's probably down to the story structure not working. However, it's a fairly torturous read and McKee's style of delivery (here and in his famous lectures) is really hard to listen to. There is little attempt to entertain and one feels utterly preached at. If you can stick with the un-engaging writing and learn the lessons that he's hitting you over the head with, then it's well worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but overly long, 18 May 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Canada (was London, UK)) - See all my reviews
'Story' is the best of the dozen or so screenwriting books I've read, precisely because it ignores the nuts and bolts of what to put where on the page and the latest trend in writing in favor of going back to the basics of what makes a movie story work. Rather than claiming, as other books do, that the format has to be perfect and the hero has to meet his love interest on page 34 of the script or no-one in Hollywood will buy it, McKee goes back to the first principles of scenes and structure and builds up a theory of movie storytelling from there.

The downside is that I would agree with some of the other reviewers that the book is overly long; it could have been condensed to probably half the size without losing much and that's the only reason why I've given it four stars rather than five. But for anyone who's thinking of writing a movie script, I'd put this book high on the list.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one, 15 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This is not a book for lightweights. It was the last of many books I read on the subject and I shall not read another. The others I had read, on re-reading, now look banal and trite. I read it through and then started again at the beginning, and then read it a third time. McKee has thought through his subject to an unprecedented level. He has drawn conclusions from which he has evolved principals that are stunningly insightful. The challenge is to follow him and take it all on board.
I've only read one book - on any subject - that held me in awe of the writer like this one did ... and that was by my tutor, the Professor of English Literature at Oxford. It's all too rare to be able to marvel at a writer's command of his subject - any subject - and it is fortunate for us would-be screenwriters that McKee chose this one.
This is essential if you are serious about writing, but you must keep re-reading until it all becomes second nature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book every screenwriter should have, 10 Aug 2007
By 
Eric Ian Steele (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
Okay, so McKee isn't the be all and end all of screenwritng. Some people find him too wordy, too smart or too arty. But this is a book which all aspiring screenwriters should read as it contains so many valuable insights on the art and craft of writing itself. Within the first chapter you will find a great many nuggets that will give you a deeper appreciation of what it is to write a script. I'm not saying that you don't need to read other books. You do. However this is one of the few that contain worthwile information every screenwriter should know. It is told in a pretty easy-to-read style. Some of it is padding, but it's interesting padding. If you're going to start writing, do a little internet research of your own first, then read this. This book should be on every budding screenwriter's shelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre but true, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
If you read Joseph Campbell's "Hero of a Thousand Faces", you'll come across the notion of an archetypal story structure; a structure that runs through mythologies and theologies the world over. Same structure, similar stories, time after time. If you then read McKee, you discover the very same structure, although it is very evident that McKee has come to the same conclusion quite separately, not by studying Greek and South American myths, but by studying Hollywood.

Even more weird, if you study Freud or even more, Jung you will discover other similar structures that are frequently repeated; archetypes of character and of process; the struggle, and the overcoming of difficulty to reach some new plateau.

Turns out that the structure of Story and the Structure of Myth and the structure of psychological transformation are all the same structure.

This is why McKee's theories work so well; because they are at the very heart of why we like stories; why we go to the cinema; why all this fictional nonsense matters so much. Even so, the book is no a patch on the seminar, when McKee's blind swearing passion about Story comes out with utter clarity. He comes to London about once a year. If you care about fiction, go see him. If you can't go see him, read the book (imagine it narrated by a crotchety, dogged, angry old American).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Story
Story by Robert McKee (Hardcover - 4 Jun 1998)
Used & New from: 14.13
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews