As grandiose as it is polarizing, Robert McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting is much more than a how-to lesson on screenwriting and although the nuts-and-bolts of the three act structure and dramatic arcs are explained, it's McKee's impassioned plea that writers should learn their craft by seeing story from the inside out that has put Story on the very short list of required reading, not only for any aspiring writer, but for the film industry as a whole.
McKee's argument is an ambitious one that deftly examines the influence that content and form have on each other, how setting and genre effect structure, and how true character is revealed in the choices one makes under pressure, choices that, in the finest writing, come to reveal a change in the character's inner nature over the course of the story.
Drawing on examples across a widespread dramatic spectrum (everything from Greek tragedies to Casablanca to Die Hard), McKee argues that what the novice writer mistakes for craft is simply his unconscious absorption of story elements from everything he's ever encountered -- lots of other movies, books, and television -- which leads to underdeveloped, clichéd stories. A screenwriter's method should be more intrinsic, drawing strength instead from the big-muscle movements like desire, forces of antagonism, turning points, crises and climax -- story seen, as he explains it, from the inside out.
Without craft, McKee asserts, the best a writer can do is snatch the first idea off the top of his head, then sit helpless in front of his own work unable to answer the dreaded question: Is it good? Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting should help writers at any level answer that question for themselves.
McKee's world renowned Story Seminar, which became the basis for this book, has been the world's ultimate writing class for over 50,000 screenwriters, filmmakers, TV writers, novelists, industry executives, actors, producers, directors and playwrights. His former students include 59 Academy Award winners and 170 Emmy Award winners.
A fictionalized version of McKee appeared opposite Nicholas Cage in Adaptation, an Oscar-winning film that was loosely based on Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief.
For more than fifteen years, Robert McKee’s students have been taking Hollywood’s top honors. His “Story Seminar” is the world’s ultimate seminar for screenwriters, filmmakers, and novelists. Now Robert McKee’s Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting reveals the award-winning methods of the man universally regarded as the world’s premier teacher on screenwriting and story. With Hollywood and publishing companies paying record sums for great stories and audiences clamoring for originality, McKee’s Story gives you the strategies you need to win the war on clichés.
Story is about form, not formula. McKee’s insights cut to the hidden sources of storytelling, the decisive differences between mediocrity and excellence.
This audiobook goes well beyond the essential mechanics of screenwriting and is packed with examples from such film classics as Casablanca and Chinatown. Then, scene by sequence by act, he illuminates the principles of story design that take a writer’s vision to brilliant realization. Story elevates the craft of screenwriting to an art form.
Take it from the pros: if you’re serious about your writing, this is the audiobook that will help you get your story from page to screen. Download and start listening now!