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Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

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Ibram X. Kendi
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The Looking-Glass Portrait
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Jon Krakauer

To: All (would-be) writers. From: All readers

Memo from the Story Department: Secrets of Structure and Character - David McKenna, Christopher Vogler

I began rereading this tonight and before I'd finished the first page of real text, the value of this book jumped up and slapped me upside the head.  Yeah, the first page.


If you are a writer of less-than-best-selling status or a would-be writer, spend some of your holiday gift money or that fat tip from the tipsy lunch ladies, on Memo from the Story Department.


The tools and techniques in this volume are the result of many years of spirited debate and collaboration between myself, Chris Vogler, and my friend and colleague David McKenna. Both of us do many jobs, but most of our careers we have been professional story analysts, meaning that we read and evaluate stories, screenplays, and novel manuscripts for the story departments of major movie studios. Between the two of us we estimate we have critiqued over forty thousand stories in one form or another,

McKenna, David; Vogler, Christopher. Memo from the Story Department: Secrets of Structure and Character (Kindle Locations 114-117). Michael Wiese Productions. Kindle Edition.


A story is a story is a story.  Whether written as a novel or a screenplay, whether read as a book or watched as a movie, the story is essentially the same.  And more than anything, the writer needs to know how stories work.


These guys know.