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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The encyclopedia of screenwriting
I've taken screenwriting courses and seminars, been to a university for film and creative writing, and I can safely say McKee's book is the purest form of breaking down screenwriting I've ever read. From stem to stern, the book is a road map to developing your screenplay in a systematic, thorough and fleshed out manner, leaving no major stone unturned, revealing all the...
Published on May 20 2004 by J.A.R.

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30 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CHARLATAN MCKEE
I attended Roberth Mckee's the I've-Never-Written-A-Screenplay-In-My-Life-But-Here's-How-In-Three-Hours "workshop". We all sat back and watched the glory and splendor of a few well-lit scenes from Casblanca as McHack droned on and on about their cinematic significance. I found myself occassionally embarrassed at having to wipe the sleep drool from my face. (Luckily I...
Published on July 2 2004 by C. Hunter Coates


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The encyclopedia of screenwriting, May 20 2004
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
I've taken screenwriting courses and seminars, been to a university for film and creative writing, and I can safely say McKee's book is the purest form of breaking down screenwriting I've ever read. From stem to stern, the book is a road map to developing your screenplay in a systematic, thorough and fleshed out manner, leaving no major stone unturned, revealing all the working parts. If you are a beginner or well rounded writer, there is plenty to be gained by McKee's perspective. Some of the material in here has been glanced or appropriated by other screenwriting books, but none do the in depth look like 'story' does.
'Story' can at time be a very mechanical read, simply because of the vast amounts of information he is delivering. The book is also (thankfully) not going to tell you where to find material to write about, or suggest what kind of material to develop. This book illuminates the conventions of screenwriting, so having a working knowledge of structure is a bonus in pushing you through the book. Regardless, the book can be inspiring and empowering, giving you insight into potential holes in your craft or literating concepts that are elusive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Write the truth.., Sept. 3 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
In my experience books tested and proven before being written tend to be the best. A prime example - Angela's Ashes, won the Pulitzer Prize, fine tuned by the author McCourt doing a one man show talking about his wicked cruel childhood, growing up in Limerick, Ireland.

In the same way, Story evolved out of McKee giving lectures, and now, he continues to spread the word.

McKee is definitely an antagonist as opposed to a protagonist, and in person a funny and engaging fellow, and an excellent teacher. As you might expect, he does know how to tell a funny story, and he had a little fun at the expense of some of the sacred cows in the industry. I particularly liked his rant about Roger Ebert, who took his name in vain once but never again.

Anyway, the book shines a bright light on the elements of story. Conflict is to story what sound is to music. Story trumps dialogue in importance. Setups, payoffs, turning points, structure, inciting incident, protagonist vs antagonist, resonating and contrasting subplot, negation of the negation. Emotional value of scenes. Arc of the character. Act structure, rhythm and pacing. Text and subtext, beats, exposition. Character, dimension, step outline. All this and so much more.

Perhaps the most important single thing I learned from McKee is..treatment. The character treatment may be twice as long as the screenplay. This is the key difference between aspiring screenwriters, and successful ones.

I open my book, and look at his personal inscription to me, which I am sure he has written to many others... "Write the truth." I will, Mr McKee, I will. I trust you find this helpful.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Balanced Review, Sept. 28 2009
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
Knowing story is like knowing life.

Everything he writes are also fundamentals of how the universe works. Very few people achieve writing with bang for buck in mind. McKee achieves this well... and I can tell he writes like a screenwriter because of that fact.

It's compressed with invaluable information about stories. He knows and understands how the fundamentals of story works and the chemical balance of what's unfolding. These inner workings are also applicable to things beyond story. To read this book... will tell you everything you need to know to solidify your storytelling skills... especially when you learn to relate it to everything else.

However, he does cut a little short on the thematic level... which he couldn't explain very well and offered poor examples of it. He does make up for that lack of thematic analysis in his review of Charlie Kaufman's screenplay "Adaptation"... in which his (McKee's) and Charlie Kaufman's character are also portrayed in "Adaptation".

But when it comes to shortcomings, the wise may not be the one to advise on the easily fascinated... meaning everyone else. McKee uses movie examples, however brilliantly created they are, that may bore the normal audience to death.

As example of McKee's mis-insights, he did not recognize the critical flaw in the first 10 pages of Kaufman's screenplay "Adaptation". Other under-the-radar writers analyzed this and would have passed Kaufman's screenplay based on it's first 10 pages. When I looked at their points, ultimately they were right. Not knowing this essential insight (connecting with the modern day audience) is probably one of the most important skills required as a screenwriter.

So if you want to be a skilled Screenwriter, grab this book. Know it inside out. The quality of your own self-learning will determine your own storytelling skills. But just know that the greatest aren't always right about everything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you have to read one book on Screenwriting..., Dec 19 2013
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This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
If you have to read one book on Screenwriting... well this is pretty much the best one out there. Fun and direct with lost of examples. It is the quintessential book on the subject.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I am writing a book and found this really useful, Nov. 20 2013
By 
Simon R. Brown (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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This is a very readable book, although I am not well enough versed in Movies to get all the references. Whether you are an author or a movie goer this book makes really interesting reading
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading!, April 10 2013
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
Excellent book! What you read in it not only applies to story and script writing, but also to many other artistic fields. I would totally recommend this book to anyone trying to know more about storytelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of 3 books YOU MUST READ if..., March 25 2013
By 
Z. B. Amzallag (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
You want to be a good and / successful screenwriter.

There's no way around it.

Read it- that's all.

.z
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book On Screenwriting, March 17 2013
This review is from: Story (Hardcover)
A must for beginners to initiate into screenwriting and especially for film students.
A book written by Robert McKee who has experience in analysing screen and teleplay submissions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in every way, Dec 19 2012
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I am unsure who recommended this book to me but I would like to thank them now. While I have no interest in becoming a screen writer, even though I have a passion for movies, I will listen (fantastic narration ensures this) to these cds again and again. Once finished I will have a much greater understanding of the craft and the reasons I rate one movie a zero and another a ten and that is a good thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant overview of story telling and structure, Jan. 14 2012
By 
Scott (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This audio book is terrific for any communicator, not just screenwriters. Storytelling is a tremendous talent to develop for delivering impactful speeches and Robert McKees book offers wonderful insights into techniques for reaching an audience through story elements. For screenwriters as well as advanced speech writers and speakers this is a must read/listen. I'd recommend the audio CD because Robert McKee reads it which adds nicely to the learning. I've recommended it to several of my Toastmaster collegues.
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Story
Story by Robert McKee (Hardcover - Nov. 13 1997)
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