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The Career Author Podcast: Episode 114 – The Three Story Method Influencer Series: Story

The Three Story Method Influencer Series: Story

In the fourth of this special 5-part series, Zach and J. examine Story by Robert McKee. They discuss how his ideas changed the way Hollywood approached modern storytelling. In addition, Zach asks J. how he incorporated elements of Story in Three Story Method and the ways they impact novel writing.

Although not strictly a methodology like the Hero’s Journey or Virgin’s Promise, McKee’s seminal work explores critical elements of storytelling such as plot vs. character, the importance of choice, and theme.

Heavily influenced by many of the ideas in Story, J. and Zach take a deep dive into some of the more abstract concepts and explain how they relate to long-form storytelling.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why the debate over plot-driven vs. character-driven stories is irrelevant
  • How McKee explains the importance of choice and consequence
  • What makes a solid and compelling theme
  • Why setting matters
  • How J. modeled elements of Three Story Method after concepts in Story

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: What questions do you have about Story and Three Story Method?

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Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

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Links:

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee – https://amzn.to/2T7TgSt 

The Golden Theme: How to Make Your Writing Appeal to the Highest Common Denominator by Brian McDonald – https://amzn.to/2SRTE8u 

Episode 78 (talking high concept) – https://thecareerauthor.com/ep078/ 

The Career Author YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/thecareerauthor

Three Story Method – http://threestorymethod.com

Molten Universe Media – http://www.moltenuniversemedia.com

Events – https://thecareerauthor.com/events/ 

7 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 114 – The Three Story Method Influencer Series: Story

  • Morning guys. Interesting subject because I studied “Story” for my MA in Creative & Critical Writing back in 2003. You’ve re-ignited my interest so I’ve put it on my reading list to read again.
    McKee’s influence on Story Grid is evident when he uses terms like Progressive Complications, Obligatory scenes, Crisis, Climax & Resolution. The things I remember most from “Story” are the meaning of beats, the Character Arc and the film Chinatown which we had to watch as homework – brilliant film with great acting and lots of depth; well worth watching.
    It would be interesting if you podded (is that a word?) about the process and whys, and maybe results, of going wide for your book. Isn’t there something about going KDP print before Ingram Spark so the print version appears as available in Amazon? How successful was the launch compared to how you think it might have gone if you had stuck to KU? etc.
    My question about Story is “what do you think it is about the book that elevated it to iconic status?” I remember the buzz when it was published and one of my fellow students on the MA, a Guardian Journalist, was sent on the McKee seminar in London as part of her job.
    I’ve ordered copies of your book and the Workbook which should arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to them.
    Great show today.

    • Thanks for supporting us, my friend!

      I wish I knew how to elevate a book to iconic status, LOL! McKee has had some high-profile students and I think that’s a big part of it.

      It’ll be interesting to see how a non-fiction wide release compares to a KDP fiction release. We’ll definitely let you know.

  • In relation to the discussion on theme: I tend to hold with author Ted Dekker on this one. He has said, “You must long for a new way of being in the world to write a great story.”

  • Now I know not to look into a McKee workshop. Hours and hours of lecture. ::shiver:: One of my levels of hell. I’ve read Story twice. It’s not easy, and I can only read it in small doses. But it has so much great stuff in it! I think all writers should read it.

    Your discussion about plot vs. character reminded me of when I was in graduate school studying literature. I can’t tell you how many times someone said (dismissively) about popular genre fiction: “It’s JUST a good story.” As if being a good story is a bad thing! I remember reading The Firm and hiding it in my bag. 😉

    I think one of the reasons writers don’t talk about theme or think about the themes in their novels is the concept was ruined by English classes! I also wonder if it’s because we equate theme with literary fiction? Maybe some writers don’t think they need it if they write romance or sci-fi or something like that?

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