– Robert McKee
If there was ever any one source that cemented my belief in screenwriting as an overall heretical style of script, it would be this one. Praised as “the screenwriter's bible” and assigned to me as part of a screenwriting fundamentals course in university, it is a book that has surprisingly little to do with screenwriting. Given how specialized the form of the screenplay is, how strict the formatting must be, how many common mistakes are endemic to first-time scripts, how high the standard is for finely-formed style, how loose those standards suddenly become to those accepted into the elitist club of previously-successful screenwriters, and how utterly different the content matter must be in order to account for the hypervisual action basis of the screen... to call this book the screenwriter's bible is simply a false statement—almost criminally so, given its propensity to mislead!
I suppose it could be considered a one-stop-shopping location to cover all the areas of traditional dramaturgy, but doing so can deny the breadth the multiplicity of opinion gives from going over a wide array of craft texts, and anyone looking for craft writing for the style of the screenplay specifically absolutely must look elsewhere by necessity alone.