Story by Robert McKee is one of twelve books most major writers have in their writing toolbox. Writers and filmmakers consider McKee one of the great teachers for substance, structure, style, dialogue, and all elements of storytelling.
"To the people who write, direct and produce for Hollywood - or desperately wish they did - Bob McKee is a cross between E. F. Hutton and Sun Myung Moon," said Newsday, "The man speaks, and people start to take furious notes - he is now the undisputed screenwriting king... for the legendary screenwriting boot camp that he runs. Thirty-thousand aspiring screenwriters have already taken McKee's 30-hour, three-day course..."
Story by Robert McKee teaches tricks taught by one of Hollywood's greatest teachers. One only needs to view the movies and books written by McKee's students to understand his brilliance.
Writing for the screen is quirky business. A writer must labor meticulously over his or her prose, yet very little of that prose is ever heard by filmgoers. The few words that do reach the audience, in the form of the characters' dialogue, are, according to Robert McKee, best left to last in the writing process. ("As Alfred Hitchcock once remarked, 'When the screenplay has been written and the dialogue has been added, we're ready to shoot.' ") In Story, McKee puts into book form what he has been teaching screenwriters for years in his seminar on story structure, which is considered by many to be a prerequisite to the film biz. (The long list of film and television projects that McKee's students have written, directed, or produced includes Air Force One, The Deer Hunter, E.R., A Fish Called Wanda, Forrest Gump, NYPD Blue, and Sleepless in Seattle.) Legions of writers flock to Hollywood in search of easy money, calculating the best way to get rich quick. This book is not for them. McKee is passionate about the art of screenwriting. "No one needs yet another recipe book on how to reheat Hollywood leftovers," he writes. "We need a rediscovery of the underlying tenets of our art, the guiding principles that liberate talent." Story is a true path to just such a rediscovery. In it, McKee offers so much sound advice, drawing from sources as wide ranging as Aristotle and Casablanca, Stanislavski and Chinatown, that it is impossible not to come away feeling immeasurably better equipped to write a screenplay and infinitely more inspired to write a brilliant one. --Jane Steinberg
Few people know how structure and character go together like Robert McKee, and few books teach the concept as well as Story: Substance, Structure, Style, & the Principles of Screenwriting.
Story by Robert McKee is one of three screenwriting books earning a spot among the 12 writing books every author should master.
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