October 17, 2014 at 4:33AM


Story structure

Robert McKees "Story" is said to be the bible of how to structure your screenplay. I would like to know how other writers feel about this idea. Is there a formula that screenwriters should be following if they want to sell a script ? Or should we pave out own way and be a bit more Tarantino about it? Also , are there better teachers out there to help guide us ?


haven't read STORY or SAVE THE CAT (another so-called "bible") but loved and still reference Syd Field's SCREENPLAY, which was the "bible" when I went to film school a decade ago.

If you're looking to sell a script in Hollywood, then yes, there's a formula that you pretty much have to stick to (which is why you see the same thing recycled and re-hashed every year). I would suggest not being a slave to structure - definitely find your own voice and pave your own way, but at the same time you should thoroughly understand the ins and outs of screenwriting structures and formulas, and why and how they work.

October 17, 2014 at 3:40PM, Edited October 17, 3:40PM

John Morse
Producer + Director

Thanks John, Syd Field is now on my kindle. I read "Save the Cat" also,and found it to be a fun read with some great ideas...if you don't mind denying yourself your creative freedom of expression and instead just fill in the blanks with the same crap over and over again. I will do my homework and find my voice. Thanks for your advice !

October 17, 2014 at 8:27PM

Michelle Stuart

Sometimes the "think" is do a story simple but with deeply.

A lot of the biggest movie ever, they keep the story simple, but complex. The most important thing is that you story appears with common sense with the characters and credible.

October 27, 2014 at 12:28AM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

There is only one way to learn about story structure today in a simple easy entertaining way - that is MY FREE EBOOK.
THE SIGN OF 4 - tells all.
For DEEP LITERARY THEME THEORY is what the real professionals use to write stories.
You will learn about the real HEROS JOURNEY & SAVE THE CAT, why 8 POINT ARC is rubbish, the truth about HACKNEYED PLOTS and those puzzling SUB-PLOTS - and even the revelation about NON-FICTION. To not mention THROUGHLINES and even how Harper Lee wrote her famous story.

March 11, 2020 at 8:51AM


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