Archive for October, 2009

McKee on plotting

To PLOT means to navigate through the dangerous terrain of story and when confronted by a dozen branching possibilities to choose the correct path. Plot is the writer's choice of events and their design in time.–Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

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McKeen on shaping a story

Originality is the confluence of content and form–distinctive choices of subject plus a unique shaping of the telling. Content (setting, characters, ideas) and form (selection and arrangement of events) require, inspire, and mutually influence one another. With content in one hand and a mastery of form in the other, a writer sculpts a story. As […]

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McKee on the importance of the story’s audience

When talented people write badly it's generally for one of two reasons: Either they're blinded by an idea they feel compelled to prove or they're driven by an emotion they must express. When talented people write well, it is generally for this reason: They're moved by a desire to touch the audience.–Robert McKee, Story: Substance, […]

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McKee on the need to write a good story

But the love of a good story, of terrific characters and a world driven by your passion, courage, and creative gifts is still not enough. Your goal must be a good story well told.–Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

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McKee on archetypes and stereotypes of story

The archetypal story unearths a universally human experience, then wraps itself inside a unique, culture-specific expression. A stereotypical story reverses this pattern: It suffers a poverty of both content and form. It confines itself to a narrow, culture-specific experience and dresses in stale, nonspecific generalties.–Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

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McKee on story

In story, we concentrate on that moment, and only that moment, in which a character takes an action expecting a useful reaction from his world, but instead the effect of his action is to provoke forces of antagonism. The world of the character reacts differently than expected, more powerfully than expectred, or both.–Robert McKee, Story: […]

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Weisner on ways to write a book

As you'll see, there's no wrong way to write a book–but there are ineffective ways of writing.–Karen S. Weisner, First Draft in 30 Days

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Weisner on story

Like a tapestry, every story is woven of threads that become invisible within the overall design.–Karen S. Weisner, First Draft in 30 Days

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Weisner on creativity

Constant brainstorming, or brewing, is the most important part of writing an outline or a book.–Karen S. Wiesner, First Draft in 30 Days

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Yourcenar on beginning writers

A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.–Marguerite Yourcenar

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