Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting

by Robert McKee

Hardcover(1 ED)

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Overview

Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience.

In Story, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the "magic" of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060391683
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/25/1997
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 92,554
Product dimensions: 6.42(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.44(d)

About the Author

Robert McKee teaches his 3Story Structure2 class annually to sold out auditoriums in Los Angeles, New York, London and film capitals throughout the world. A Fulbright Scholar, this award-winning film and television writer has also served as project and talent development consultant to major production companies such as Tri-Star and Golden Harvest Films. He lives in Los Angeles and Cornwall, England.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix(2)
Notes on the Text xi
PART 1: THE WRITER AND THE ART OF STORY 3(28)
Introduction 3(8)
1. The Story Problem
11(20)
PART 2: THE ELEMENTS OF STORY 31(104)
2. The Structure Spectrum
31(36)
3. Structure and Setting
67(12)
4. Structure and Genre
79(21)
5. Structure and Character
100(10)
6. Structure and Meaning
110(25)
PART 3: THE PRINCIPLES OF STORY DESIGN 135(182)
7. The Substance of Story
135(46)
8. The Inciting Incident
181(27)
9. Act Design
208(25)
10. Scene Design
233(19)
11. Scene Analysis
252(36)
12. Composition
288(15)
13. Crisis, Climax, Resolution
303(14)
PART 4: THE WRITER AT WORK 317(104)
14. The Principle of Antagonism
317(17)
15. Exposition
334(12)
16. Problems and Solutions
346(28)
17. Character
374(14)
18. The Text
388(22)
19. A Writer's Method
410(11)
Fade Out
418(3)
Suggested Readings 421(2)
Filmography 423(34)
Index 457

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Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a novelist and bought the book hoping to pick up some tips. I underline things in books that are worthy of going back and reviewing, and I am very pragmatic. I almost underlined everything in the book! Chapter 19 (A Writer's Method) was the practical, day-to-day info on how to succeed that I had been in search of for years in a compact form from someone who knew what they were doing. You cannot go wrong buying this book, and I'm going to his seminar to learn more!
SusanKayeQuinn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to novel writers, even though it is ostensibly about screenwriting. McKee will change the way you think about storytelling.
jasonli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Story" is veteran screenwriter Bob McKee's guide to screenwriting. It's practical, direct, almost forcefully so, and filled with examples of good filmwriting. McKee's guide doesn't assume any prior knowledge, and is comprehensive in its coverage of the many aspects of writing a film.McKee's book can also be applied to any other genre of creative writing, because, as he admits, much of what he writes about is universal. My one gripe with the book is that it is sometimes too forceful, and too confident in its belief of the Dominance of Great Films.
erikssonfamily on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Any aspiring screenwriter must read this book. McKee explains the elements of story, and how to write a good one. A must read.
gazzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great pep talk on writing! Like a halftime talk by a coach. Not really going to change anything, but can inspire if you are open to it.
Yoshikawa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book very helpful in delevoping my writing!
KamilaMiller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Robert McKee has produced one of the best, if not the best, book on how to write well. Aimed at screenwriters, this work also has a strong following among novelists. Worth rereading, highlighting, post-it bookmarking, living and breathing. But don't drink the Kool-Aid, there are some gaps that other writing books are meant to fill.
ebnelson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great companion to Donald Miller¿s A Million Miles, for in it McKee unknowingly demonstrates how the crafting of a good story aligns with the living of a good life. McKee¿s advice on shaping character, winnowing down to core events and values, and his admonishment to ¿Show, don¿t tell¿ are great pieces of advice, for anyone seeking a well-lived life, even if they¿re not a writer. Also, the book succeeds on its primary level, giving writers direction in craft that is both philosophical and practical, with great screenplay analysis interspersed throughout. His analysis of story and its principles aligns well with Tierno's Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters.
whiteberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Best book on screenwriting and story out there. Can't agree with the former reviewer: You have to see McKee live as well, as his "performance" of the seminar adds a whole new layer to the book.
KelMunger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
McKee's got a real grip on story and character, and he makes it understandable. While he gets quite a bit of hype--and has expensive seminars--his methods also get results. Worth every doggone dime--that is, if writing something that deserves an audience is part of the plan.
danbarrett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely the best book on screenwriting, and one of the best books on writing, that I have ever read. All books on writing want to be this book but don't do it very well.Seriously, just get a copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SEPTEMBER THIRTEENTH 2015 <p> Dear diary, this is the first day I am writing in you. Okay, perhaps I should say writing on the paper inside you. Whatever. Did I mention I sometimes write or say weird things, and often cannot decide what to say. Or write?<p> Today I went to school, DUH. The funny thing is , my friend Anne started calling me weird names like Tuppy. Think, TUPPY!! What next?? Like, Ergy ??? Seriously...? Actually, she called my other friend Ergy. That friend"s real name was Jasmine. Big difference!! Really. <p> HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! <p> Sorry. Had the laughing fit there for a sec. Hehe. Hehe. HEHE. <p> oop. I nearly got it again! I am writing in this because I am afraid. Our teacher, Mr. Simpson (oh yeah, tht is weird, but you have to take it) , told us a freaky story that TOTALLY scared me out of my wits. You wanna read it? Here: <p> Selena was happily playing on the steps of her house. Suddenly, a white ghostly woman arrived in front of her house. <p> Who was she??? <p> Selena looked carefully over the old lady who said ,"Child, the deserted house....you go...now...my...it was mine...the door...kitchen..." in a trembly and hollow voice. <p> Selena trembled. She did not understand! She wanted to ask the lady, but she dissapeared as sudden as she appeared. <p> Selena was a good girl, and so walked to the edge of the village towards the deserted house. She walked up the gray stone stairs and raised a trembling hand. Should she knock? Walk in?....<p> phew!! I have sweat on my hands.. our teacher wanted us to finish it and i said that the lady came and killed her. Nah, i am tooooooooooooo frightened to write. I wrote 13 "o"s on the too. I am good! <p>Really, diary, I suppose i have to write goodbye!! Mom says i gotta sleep. <p> Thanks for reading this!! Now the next few books will be on "Grace" all result. I will love it if you comment and give bios!! By: Abigail&#12485 I based this story on my friend Grace. Once again, go to grace all results to comment and do bios. My stories there too. Thanks!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A young couple were walking through the woods, just leaving from a late night movie. They were laughing and playfully arguing over which of the two movies was the stupidest. They were deep into the woods when Tanya suddenly covered Josh's mouth with her hand. He gently pulled her hand away. <p > "Whats the matter, babe?", he asked, kissing her palm. "I- i thought i heard rustling. From... over... there." She pointed towards a bush. Tanya then jumped in fear. She could have sworn she saw something move. She told Josh this. He laughed. "Its your imagination, hon." He leaned down to kiss her. <p> Just as their lips met, there /was/ a rustling, and suddenly a ghostly white figure came out of the bushes. <p> "EEEEEEEEE!!!!" <p> It screeched an eerie cry. As it came closer, the young couple grabbed each other and stared in horror. The thing had glowing red sockets, and dried blood on its cheeks and chapped lips. Its skin was chalky and saggy. And it had fangs. The couple noticed something else. It was swinging an axe! They started to run. <p> "EEEEEEEEE!!!!" <p> It chased after them. The couple were fearing for their lives. The creature caught up to them, and swung its axe at Josh. His head fell to the ground, pooling blood, his face frozen in a look of horror. Tanya was sobbing now. She ran faster. <p> "EEEEEEEEEE!!!!" <p> Screeching its eerie cry, the thing flew after Tanya. She was ahead of it... so far. Then it took an amazing burst of speed, catching up. It chopped at her neck, but missed and chopped off her arm instead! She screamed in pain, unable to run any more. The creature chopped off her head, and she fell to the ground, dead. <p> "EEEEEEE!!!" <p> It wailed a cry of victory and leaned its mouth down onto Tanya's bloody skin, digging its teeth deep and tearing her open. It sucked her blood dry, then smiled up at the full moon. It then faded into the darkness, hoping to kill and feed again... <p> TO ALL READERS: if youre afraid to go into the woods at night now that youve read my story, well... thats the point! You probably shouldnt have read my story! Happy nightmares! <br> Pokemon Girl :3
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the_protagonist1 More than 1 year ago
This book is very helpful if you are starting out. You have to know the rules before you get good enough to break them. I do not agree with his thoughts on the use of voice over. Some of the best movies ever made have voice over and the voice over, when it's done right gives the film a personal touch.<br /> <br /> Review by Curt Wiser Author of BOX CUTTER KILLER.
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