Monday, January 7, 2013

Story by Robert McKee

Today I finished reading Story: Substance Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee.

I have seen advertisements for Robert McKee's seminars on screenwriting in several writing magazines.  The seminars are usually held in locations which would involve considerable expense in time and money to attend.

When I realized he had written Story, I purchased a copy and then looked at it sitting on my bookshelf for a year or so.  I started reading Story about six months ago.  I started, stopped and started again many times.  It's not that it's a hard book to read.  It is just so full of stuff I think I need to know.  It's deep.  At times, too deep for me.  I think it's the type of book that becomes a reference used many times.

I love being organized.  I'd rather organize what I'm going to do than to do it.  I've studied structure as taught by several authors.  I thought this was going to be a book about screenwriting structure.  And, while the subject is covered, that's not what the book is about.

Simply put, the book is about telling a story.  What works and why.  What doesn't work and why.  While his perspective is from the movies point of view, isn't this what all novelists, playwrights, and screenwriters want to do, to tell a good story.

p237 "To tell a story is to make a promise:  If you give me your concentration, I'll give you surprise followed by the pleasure of discovering life, its pains and joys, at levels and in directions you have never imagined."

Yeah, that's what I want to do.  I think this book has taught me many things that will help me accomplish this goal.

I rate this book as five stars.

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