In Praise of Robert McKee’s “Story”

In the past few years I have started, but not finished:

  1. A coming of age story with a strong musical element
  2. The first mystery in a new series with a rather artistic protagonist
  3. The first mystery in a new series with a female protagonist
  4. A Jeeves & Wooster/P. G. Wodehouse-inspired light comedy with a mysterious twist.

They are unfinished, not because they aren’t good, but because I didn’t know how to make the last 1/3 (or 1/2 or 2/3) as good as what was already written.

Not because I don’t know how to use words. Never been a problem. I was reading at college level when I started Kindergarten back in the Jurassic Era.

What I didn’t know was, once you start building a bridge of story from over here and it spans half the chasm, how do you keep it from collapsing into the ravine until you can make it land over there?

In other words, what is the structure of a story?

… more … “In Praise of Robert McKee’s “Story””

Katherine Hepburn: How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston, and Almost Lost My Mind

Just as musicians don’t always make great actors, as any music video will show you, actors don’t always make great writers. Here’s an exception: The Making of the African Queen.

Katherine Hepburn’s account of the making of The African Queen is priceless, not just because of the story it tells, but because it is memoir done right. It doesn’t attempt to tell her life story as if it were an autobiography. It is simply a memoir of a particular event.

… more … “Katherine Hepburn: How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston, and Almost Lost My Mind”