Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The long-awaited third volume of Robert McKee’s trilogy on the art of fiction.
Following up his perennially best-selling writers' guide Story and his inspiring exploration of the art of verbal action in Dialogue, the most sought-after expert in the storytelling brings his insights to the creation of compelling characters and the design of their casts.
Character explores the design of a character universe: The dimensionality, complexity and arcing of a protagonist, the invention of orbiting major characters, all encircled by a cast of service and supporting roles.
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|Listening Length||15 hours and 44 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 25, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #14,294 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#6 in Screenwriting (Audible Books & Originals)
#8 in Playwriting (Books)
#12 in Play & Scriptwriting Writing Reference
Top reviews from the United States
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This is easily the most robust book that you'll finding on the philosophy and art of characters. However, like "Story", I feel that the information, as eye-opening as it is, could be organized / formatted better and sometimes described more clearly from the get-go. At the very least, all the perspectives and ways of breaking-down a character could be tied into one another in a final chapter, as to make this stuff more directly applicable for us writers. Nevertheless, you could just highlight as you read and then create your own guide through all this information, as I do.
Robert McKee also has no hesitation in bluntly sifting through touchy societal and systemic issues as a way of getting to the core of who we are as human beings . With this being the case, he also breaks down "Slave Play", a play which takes on racism, sadism, and our subconscious biases when it comes to those matters. None of the aforementioned bothered me — in fact, I appreciate his decisions on this front — but I'm certain others won't feel the same.
Lastly, some of the information in the book can ultimately be a touch contradictory (in manners like character change) and is maybe too forward in stating that it's best to hold back on physically introducing your protagonist. Also, there are a number of grammatical errors. All that being said, the book leaves you with more than enough clear and informed principles to guide you in making a rich cast of characters.
The content of the book, of course, is the most important thing and McKee presents it exactly the way we all should be writing - without a single extra word. Every line is on target, says exactly what needs to be said with the perfect economy of words. He will say it again - sometimes for the sake of repetition so we hear it, but also in other contexts or relating to other forms than the Screenplay and sometimes in summary at the end of a section, but he does not phrase it 10 different ways and force us to sit through that, nor does he relate anything to the time his cousin from Schenectady was telling his wife Florence how to ski,... There is no fluff. Not so much as a comma where one needn't be. These books tell you exactly what you need to know, and if you listen to the Audible version he will tell you the same thing, in an appropriately authoritative tone carefully modulated to maximize the experience for the reader who is reading to learn something. I've heard his narration described as "condescending," and I could see how somebody might make that mistake. We are not accustomed to hearing finely crafted elocution in this country. Even out presidents don't seem to make an effort anymore. I appreciate Robert McKee's care if ensuring that I can listen, process what I hear, while also making a note of it.
In the movie Amadeus, the King played by Jeffrey Jones, wasn't happy with Mozart. He told him there were too many notes.
Way too many words, Robert. Get to the darn point faster.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in India on September 2, 2021