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First Draft: 14 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

First Draft: 14 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

First Draft

Story: Substance, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting (Robert McKee)

Robert McKee is not just the king above all screenwriting gurus—he is the Zeus equivalent himself. Hollywood stars, writers, producers, development executives and agents attend his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience. And yes, McKee’s theater presence truly does stand-out as a powerful performance, all of which was nodded to so brilliantly in Charlie Kaufman’s script for Adaptation.

His book is an expansion of his seminar’s concepts, offering the most detailed look into story structure and every aspect of the screenplay itself. What’s wonderful about Story is that while it does go deep into structure and what elements cinematic stories need, there is never a direct “formula” that McKee is advising anyone to apply. Instead, we are getting clear and well thought out ruminations on story, character, and conflict for all to consider.

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