Robert McKee’s Story

Just finished it.

Yes alright it is about time. I do read books you know! I bet you haven’t read Sergei Eisenstein’s – Towards a Theory of Montage!

Anyway yes I finally got round to it and to be honest I don’t care what the so called criticisms of the book are I found it thoroughly enjoyable (I don’t actually know what the criticism’s are, but everytime I mention the book people make some comment or other to its taboo nature).

McKee is famously opinionated (and because films are obviously real life you only have to watch Adaptation if you don’t believe me), to prove my point I’d like to direct you to a wonderfully witty interview. I suspect that it is this nature of his that has the hackles rising in certain quarters, but like any other guide you can take what you find useful and leave what you don’t.

The thing is I would go one further with this book, because McKee is a man who really knows his trade and when you are privileged to read something written by a master its a good idea to pay attention. The opinion of critics can go fly out the window as far as I’m concerned because there is always things to learn from the greats no matter how much you may disagree. If you’re an editor you’ll know how insightful In The Blink Of An Eye is. If you’re a programmer you’ll lavish similar praise on the likes of Scott Meyer and Bjarne Stroustrup (apparently).

The only reason I’m commenting on this book is as a kind of follow up to my last post. I’m seeing more and more with inexperienced writers this desire to work from formulas and to tick the boxes and they are really missing the point. McKee bemoans the lack of great scripts in today’s marketplace and it is because the majority of writers are obsessed now with the same things that obsess producers, instead of concentrating on Story.

Sales pitch over.

3 Responses to “Robert McKee’s Story”
  1. Oooh, I might have to cave in and read it. I’ve got a copy of Truby languishing unread. That one gives me a headache.

    I read Snyder’s Save The Cat cover to cover but that’s really like buying a broadsheet and discovering that it’s only got page after page of Garfield cartoons in it.

    I am a programmer, me. You know, when I’m not writing. There are loads of rockstar authors in the programming world.

    I’ll stick up for Steve McConnell (Code Complete) and Walker Royce (Software Project Management). Oh, and everyone (I mean *everyone*) should read Fred Brooks’ The Mythical Man-Month.

    Whoa! Hold up! Geek Factor 10!

  2. kaisavage says:

    Oh yes of course! I must remember not to get you and my wife in the same room or at least hide all her circuit boards 😉

  3. Oh yes. It’s awful when programmers talk shop. A couple of drinks and we’re basically talking in hex.

    A3 6F FF 40 1A, I said. She smiled politely, and reaching for her wine muttered 68 EF B4 82 1A under her breath.

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