- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd; Reprint. edition (16 July 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0413715604
- ISBN-13: 978-0413715609
- Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 3.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (Methuen Film) Paperback – 16 Jul 1999
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'In difficult periods of writing, particularly with structure, I often turn to Robert McKee's wonderful book, Story, for guidance.' --Dominic Dunne
About the Author
Robert McKee teaches his Story seminar annually to sold out auditoriums in Los Angeles, New York, London and film capitals throughout the world. A Fulbright Scholar, this award-winning film and television writer has also served as project and talent development consultant to major production companies such as Tri-Star and Golden Harvest Films. He lives in Los Angeles and Cornwall, England.
Top Customer Reviews
McKee states correctly that stories are not made up of chapters, they are made up of scenes and it is by knowing the dynamics of a scene that help the writer create a good story. For example many writers understand that a character must change from the beginning of a story to the end of a story but McKee says that the point of view character must change (arc) in a scene also. This adds huge power to every scene and often explains why some scenes are flat (no character arc in it).
I would say this book, along with Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers and The Story Book: A Writer's Guide to Story Development, Principles, Problem-solving and Marketing and ...Read more ›
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.
Unlike many self-education books it is not a tome of instructions, it is an always fascinating walk through the essentials of sucessfully telling a great story in a screenplay.
It never feels like 'learning'; rather the countless invaluable pointers to characterisation, plot, drama, dialogue etc feel almost obvious, rational and common sense and thus easier to absorb.
And, most important of all for it is a long book,totally involving.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was recommended to me by a Hollywood actor friend who starred in the popular tv series 'Prison Break'. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Carole & Clark
McKee states correctly that stories are not made up of chapters, they are made up of scenes and it is by knowing the dynamics of a scene that help the writer create a good story.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book covering all aspects of the subject.
Essential reading for those trying to write. Worth it, stick with it and it will pay dividends.Published 16 months ago by bertietrouble
A must have for aspiring writers. It focus on movies, but a story is a story. It's the kind of book that i will read in a few years and still learn from it. Very complete.Published 18 months ago by Vanessa Bettencourt
This is so informative and insightful. This book cuts through the BS and gives a lot of inspirational ideas.Published 19 months ago by Lee Brown
I attended Mr McKee's seminar at University of Westminster back in 2008. He was in his 80s then but spoke for 12 hours a day to a large audience who hung on every word. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer