• Character

  • The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen
  • By: Robert McKee
  • Narrated by: Robert McKee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Character

By: Robert McKee
Narrated by: Robert McKee
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2021 Robert McKee (P)2021 Hachette Audio

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What listeners say about Character

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great substance except for political correctness

McKee creates another great, deep psychoanalytical exploration into the craft of storytelling; this time with character. It’s great he uses his own voice. His ideas are consistent throughout his teachings and he mostly approaches character exploration from an unbiased position. I’ve removed one star because of his saying that white men are “kings” and black people are victims. Signaling that white men should feel shame is in my humble opinion is a toxic political stance that’s deeply subjective, trend based and infused with a subtle yet extremist white feminist agenda for power in western society. Lastly, alternating between the he and she pronoun although well meaning was a little bit disorienting. Otherwise, if you can get over these “woke” tactics the book is full of expertly structured insights into writing character at the highest level professionally.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I question whether Robert wrote it

I consume of lot of these books. They mostly say the same things. But I like McKee. He's entertaining and has good insights. This book was well worth it. Different perspectives I hadn't considered before.

However, the plethora of mispronounciations has me questioning whether he actually sourced this material or if he just put his name on it. Doesn't really matter. But curious, still.

5 people found this helpful

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Powerful book for any writer

I know I will re-listen to this a couple of times the coming years.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Reads like a very entertaining psychology book

Absolutely essential reading for the writer or aspiring writer. Pretty good insights for anyone in leadership or interested in human nature as well.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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No stone unturned on character analysis!Thanks RM!

This book is at the top of my collection on Characterization. The examples are illuminating.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Additional Class

Mr. Robert Mckee always knows when to put your mind on what really matters. .

1 person found this helpful

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A “Bible” for fiction writers, screenplay writers, true artists

I solute Robert McKee for his timeless contribution to humanity with this masterpiece. Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

a little bit dry and a lot of theory, but good

I listen to story and took a plethora of notes from it, and this book is also a small treasure trove of value for a story writer. The thing is this book is deeply ladled with a lot more theory and hypotheticals and history lessons when I was really expecting a book closer to story by Robert McKee ... This one I really found myself zoning in and out a lot more than I did with the other book. when he gets to the point and is clear and informational and gives solid, concrete examples It is invaluable. overall I would recommend it but I know there's definitely sections I would want to skip when I reread

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Philisophical Drivel

I have no joy in saying this, but I can recall exactly 2 insights this book gave:

-Characters are deep and dimensional if they have contradictions.
-Readers like to feel like they know a character better than that character knows him/herself.

The rest of the book is mainly high–minded sounding talk about humanness in story and current cultural goings–on.

Very little in way of rules of thumb, tools for writers, or questions to ask one's self about their characters.

McKee also has a bad habit of reading off very long lists of opposites (Happy/Sad, Good/Evil, Loyalty/Disloyalty) etc. etc.
He does this SEVERAL times a chapter, You will notice it, trust me.

I listened to the entire book because I was hoping that eventually there would be some good insight which earned this book the high ratings it has.

Actually, your reward at the end is a very long chapter describing a racially–charged BDSM sex play in gratuitous detail. I guess because the characters are embarrassed about their fetishes and thus have a contradictory and therefore deep meaning? I'm not sure.

McKee's other book Dialogue is actually quite good and pretty useful. I would skip over this one.

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Deep and deeply sympathetic

This guy knows what he's talking about and he's deep and deeply sympathetic. Maybe the best book about writing I ever read, and I've read a few.