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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  6,014 ratings  ·  561 reviews
The author's international screenwriting workshops have long won acclaim from celebrities, film industry professionals and enthusiastic students alike. In this guide, he presents his knowledge of the essentials of screenwriting and storytelling.
Published (first published November 25th 1997)
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I think this is the first time where I read a book solely based off a scene in a movie. The scene can be found here:

Lines like, "You cannot have a protagonist without desire! It doesn't make sense! ANY. F****NG. SENSE!" and "WHY THE F*** WOULD YOU WASTE MY TWO PRECIOUS HOURS WITH YOUR MOVIE? I DON'T HAVE ANY USE FOR IT! ANY. BLOODY. USE FOR IT!" more or less had me drooling. For those of you who don't know anything about Robert McKee, he's the writing tea
Jun 19, 2008 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Josh by: Charlie Kaufman's twin brother
YES! It took me six months, but I finally, finished this bitch.

The reason it took me six months was that Story is incredibly dense, and in the best possible way. If you want to understand what makes for a good story, and how and why they work, this is the book to read. But you'll need to read it slow because this is the kind of dense where you'll want to stop and think about what you just read after every few pages to make sure it really sinks in.

Though oriented primarily towards screenwriting,
In a past life I did a professional writing degree for my undergraduate BA – half of which was in script writing. I wish we had been taught the stuff that is contained in this book. This is such a good book it is hard to praise it too highly. The advice is clear and all of it good. From avoiding adverbs and adjectives in your treatment to the psychology of interesting characters this book has many very important things to say to anyone thinking about writing a screenplay (or anything else, if yo ...more
Robert McKee is the famous Hollywood screenwriting teacher gently poked fun at in the movie "Adaptation." Though that film could leave one with the impression that McKee teaches formula storytelling, this book is about how good stories transcend formula to become great art.

McKee has a masterful understanding of the fundamentals of story itself, and he writes with clarity about the basic story tools every writer must develop in order to move beyond cliche and into something original. Using examp
Jerilyn Marler
As a freelance editor of any type of writing, I am always searching for insight, wisdom, guidance, illumination about the many forms of writing that cross my desk. I'd heard about McKee's "Story" but shied away because screenwriting is so far removed from my usual work. Or so I thought. I bought the digital version on a whim thinking that it might prove useful someday as a reference book. I was immediately hooked and read it straight through. Then I went back and highlighted many passages for fu ...more
This is the text that went along with his three-day seminar that I attended. Although it is primarily focused on the screenplay, it is equally suitable for a novel, and there were quite a few novelists in attendance at the seminar. Although the focus is on traditional story structure—something McKee believes has become a lost art—his emphasis is so heavily on character, and writing from the inside out, that if well executed, a reader/viewer would not be consciously aware of the story's structure ...more
If you're a writer of drama or fiction, you need to master these rules before you consider breaking them.

I knew from an early age that I wanted to write stories, but it wasn't till I was about 17 that I learned that there are actual methods, principles, and techniques involved in storytelling, when I received as a gift a copy of The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri. Wow! What a revelation! I read it greedily.

Flash-forward to 1990. I was 31 and now had my own TV series, The Odyssey, in devel
Ben Starling
Well, this book certainly covered all the topics one would hope for in a book on writing craft. It was a bit on the theoretical/academic side for me. I was looking for something that was more practical. But if you are looking for something theoretical/academic, then you would have your bases covered here. I will keep the book on my shelf, but for use more as a reference text. Still, solidly written throughout and I am happy with the purchase.
Adam Page
Jun 18, 2008 Adam Page rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: potential screenwriters
I can understand how this book would be good for potential screenwriters; in fact, that's who this book is for exactly. However, the book does get tedious and has a lot of personal bias involved (a tendency that spills over into McKee's seminar, unfortunately). There is no story in "Story," so unless you are gung-ho about becoming a Hollywood writer, stay away from this one.
The truth is that this whole concept of three acts and obligatory antagonist will make you unemployed screenwriter in 99,9% of cases. I know, I've witnessed it myself. In some ways the book is usefull, I think it gives pretty accurate analysis of turning points and different types of screenplays and genres, some other things maybe... But in general film bussiness has moved on from straight-forward "hero against something" concept, festival cinema and mass production for theatres and television a ...more
For a long time I thought that this book was about how to write the kind of story that makes a best-seller, or a big Hollywood movie. But when McKee started talking (I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author) about the structure of Tender Mercies as his idea of a tightly plotted story, I had to revise that opinion. By the time I got a quarter through the book, I had to take the hardcover (which I also had bought at some time) and put it in the bag I'm taking on my writing retreat later ...more
Why are there so many bad movies out there? I mean seriously - you and I both know that of all the films that are released every year, we probably get only one or two that are actually good. There's some that are good enough to spend an afternoon watching, maybe enjoyable enough that we'll want to watch it again on DVD later. But so many are just... bad.

It is my own fault, I think, for seeing Transformers 2. I have no one to blame but myself.

The really scary thing is that, in the summer of Trans
S. Baker
I've read this twice and I've recently put the audio book (narrated by the man himself) on my iPod so I can exercise my thoughts while I drag my over-fed carcass around the landscape. When I first read it, I wanted to reject almost everything in it, but then I hadn't written a feature-length screenplay at that time. By the time I'd read it again I'd written one and half screenplays and was wondering why my brilliant outline wasn't currently turning itself into a masterpiece. That's when it start ...more
Jun 05, 2007 caroline rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those gearing up for script frenzy
as a newbie (and a scared newbie at that_ screenwriter, i thought i would give this a go before diving into script frenzy. i am very excited to approach this new challenge. the rules he presents you with are very reasuring to those of us who have little experience, but long-term writers may find them restrictive. either way, there is sure to be something thought-provoking in this book for the writer of any sort. at the very least i have to love someone who comes out and takes a stand in favor of ...more
K.M. Weiland
I can't believe it's taken me so long to read this book. I expected more of the same: structure, story elements, character tips. And those are certainly there. But Story actually deserves its tremendously broad title, because that's exactly what this book is: a discussion of *story.* It's theory and practicality all wrapped up into one module. McKee presents ideas I've never seen elsewhere, backed up by solid example after solid example and all in an extremely engaging and absorbing way. This is ...more
M a y a
My mind is officially blown!

Make no mistake: this bible to story-telling is dense and intensely analytical. The first time I tried reading it, I gave up. I think if I thought too much about these principles on a first draft, my creativity would shrivel up and die (though there's no unlearning it now).

Yet, to revise a novel, McKee offers incredible insight into pacing, story arc, characters, climactic scenes, and more. If something isn't working, you can probably find some tool here to help you t
Jan 14, 2011 Julie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie by: Write-O-Rama/Richard Hugo House
I discovered "Story" during a writing workshop last fall. Although the book focuses on the creation of screenplays, its principles are directly applicable writing the short story and novel.

McKee is an old school storyteller, which suits me to a "T". He insists that the writer respect the audience desire to be entertained, but intelligently and with integrity. He provides a classic structure of plot, progression, character development within one simple but profound concept: the protagonist has a
It's a great book, very interesting, very lucid. He talks about what works, what doesn't and why, about structure and ideas (I loved the term "Controlling Idea"), without ever imposing anything as a unbreakable rule. Greatly useful, and not only for the scriptwriters.

But the book has a very strange and weird flaw, somewhat undermining the reader's faith in author's analysis of examples. How difficult is it to get one of the most famous film scenes right? And yet, he constantly gets it wrong. I'm
I like to write. Well, there’s an old adage that some authors use that says, “I hate to write… almost as much as I hate not writing.” That might fit me a bit better.

But the reason that I *hate* to write is because as I’m doing it, except for brief moments of insanity, I know that what I’m putting out there is going to need a lot of work before anyone seriously considers it good. Then it would probably be lots more work before I could convince anyone of literary merit, or of exacting standards,
En la introducción nos explica como este libro no hará a dejar de ver “el crear un guion” como algo complicado y comenzar a verlo como un reto creativo, pues da técnicas y recomendaciones de las cuales uno puede sacar provecho y utilizarlas con el fin de expresar correctamente nuestras ideas y plasmar nuestra creatividad.

Con cada una de las herramientas que proporciona el autor podemos desarrollar un guion a nuestro gusto, siguiendo la forma que es lo que convierte a un maestro para el guion y d
Mar 11, 2009 Monkey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of stories and movies
everything from robert mc kee "story" workshop but without the profanity! "story" offers a view of "good story, well told" and how it can be archived. aspiring screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, watercooler raconteurs or cinephile should have a copy or in their writing toolbox. if you can't afford spending 3 days at the feet of mc kee learning the art of story, this is the next best thing. (you'll miss the amazing 6 hour scene by scene analysis of casablanca, but, you won't have to sit in an ...more
McKee may be a great screenwriter, but I certainly hope his classes are less pompous and verbose than this book is. It's poorly edited, with too much preaching, and long lists of movie titles cited as examples of a particular point. Since the style is to use ALL QUOTES for titles, when he goes on for a third of a page it just gets annoying.
In his acknowledgements, he thanks someone for their omnivorous will to omit needless words - his wife. Obviously she was too close to it all to tell him to j
I learned a lot from reading book. I got many of good ideas regarding my own experiments in writing fiction. I paused the audiobook, from time to time, to apply an idea to the various stories I'm juggling.

The author is very opinionated, and his whole "lazy writing threatens the art of writing screenplays" thing is a little hyperbolic. I like what he says about deus ex machina, though.

Sometimes he would use words in a way I'm not used to, like "value" and "charge". This is a textbook in the sense
Alex Ristea
If you only ever read one book on writing, this should be it.

Even if you're not an author, STORY will deepen your understanding of novels and movies. What makes a good plot? What drives character motivations? How do you deal with audience expectations?

Telling stories is one of the most defining characteristics of being a human. Learns to do it well, and learn how to appreciate it, too.

I read a lot about writing, but nothing has ever blown me away like this. It has everything, and I plan to keep
While I've not read (or better said listened to) that many books on screenwriting, of the few that I have Story is by the best one yet. The others offered some interesting insights on the screenwriting process, but what differentiates Story from them is the fact that it goes into how to construct a story which is actually good, regardless of the medium. A must read for anyone interested in any form of creative writing.
Oct 26, 2008 An rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, screenwriters, film makers, nerds
Recommended to An by: fellow writers, the internet
This is a TEXT BOOK for telling stories. A great reference for classic story structure - mainly for screenwriting, but intuitively the principles can be generalized for any form of story telling. I'm at Mckee's live seminar (right now-on break) and he clearly knows this material - often he says things verbatim.

Basically, this book lays out the immense amount of complex and hard work one must do to write a great story. And the free spirit, ADHD, creative, touchy feely, artsy part and FUN part of
Mar 23, 2008 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Recommended to Sarah by: Martine Leavitt
“Story is metaphor for life.” This is McKee’s guiding theme as he explains how to write a classic story. (25) McKee’s book for screenwriters explains the methods he has taught to his students who have won Academy, Emmy and other film awards. Although the book uses examples from film, novelists can use many of the principles in its pages. Every element of story is discussed including character, setting, plot, and theme. He emphasizes the use of conflict to forward a plot.

The introduction is a bri
Jp Malkrovi
¿Es el guión una forma preconcebida y formal? ¿Es más importante la estructura del guión que los personajes de la obra? Estas son algunos de los cuestionamientos clave que expone el autor, Robert McKee , en esta magnífica obra que ha sentado las bases del arte del guionismo contemporáneo.

Desde una perspectiva irónica, bufonesca y crítica, MacKee logra consolidar un conjunto de conceptos que conforman la identidad del arte narrativo cinematográfico. Retomando filamentos básicos de la narrativa t
S.C. C Skillman
"Several years ago, I nearly signed on for Robert McKee’s “Story Structure” workshop in London – tempted by the testimonial from John Cleese, who attri...moreSeveral years ago, I nearly signed on for Robert McKee’s “Story Structure” workshop in London – tempted by the testimonial from John Cleese, who attributed his success in creating the Fawlty Towers scripts to what he learned from this workshop. But I saw it was essentially for screenwriters, and chose to pass on it. I have since recognised ...more
Diana Dueñas

Este libro tiene un punto de vista muy interesante sobre cómo escribir un guion. Lo que más me llamó la atención fue que te da libertad de escribir como a ti te parezca pero dice “esto es lo que ha funcionado siempre, es probable que te funcione a ti también”.

En el primer capítulo nos da tips generales de lo que es un guion y de lo que contiene. Nos habla de que contiene arquetipos y no estereotipos, de que hay que dedicarle mucho tiempo y esfuerzo y que hay que pensar en el público al que está

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What screenwriters can teach novelists 31 52 Aug 20, 2013 12:55PM  
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  • The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
  • The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
  • Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need
  • Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
  • The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 4th Ed.
  • The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great
  • Techniques of the Selling Writer
  • Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish
  • Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies
  • Creating Unforgettable Characters
  • Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction
  • Cinematic Storytelling
  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • On Directing Film
  • Writing Screenplays That Sell: The Complete, Step-By-Step Guide for Writing and Selling to the Movies and TV, from Story Concept to Development Deal
  • Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters
Robert McKee began his show business career at age nine playing the title role in a community theatre production of MARTIN THE SHOEMAKER. He continued acting as a teenager in theatre productions in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Upon receiving the Evans Scholarship, he attended the University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. While an undergraduate, he acted in ...more
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История на миллион долларов. Мастер-класс для сценаристов, писателей и не только... The Art of Darkness International Banking The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles Adaptation.: The Shooting Script

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