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Book Review: Memo From The Story Department – Secrets of Structure and Character

August 3, 2011

Released July 2011

Page count: 280 pages

Size: 6” x 9”

Memo from the Story Department – Secrets of Structure and Character

Chris Vogler & David McKenna

Published By Michael Wiese Publications

http://www.mwp.com/

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Memo From The Story Dept. Book Review By Erin V.

Co-written by Christopher Vogler and David McKenna, this is a book that deserves a spot on any writer’s shelf, as well as provides a nice companion to Vogler’s previous book The Writer’s Journey.  The style with which Memo From the Story Department is written, (chapters from each author and short critiques on each other’s ideas), is fresh and interesting to read.  I really liked the two takes/opinions within the one book.

This book gives an interesting look at characters, locations, and structure, as well as different parts of storytelling history from myths, to fairy tales, to Vaudeville, without becoming overwhelming or boring.  I enjoyed learning about more than just straight screen structure while reading this one.

Memo From The Story Department is named after the ‘memo that started it all’ – a 7-page document written by Vogler that now is used extensively in story departments, outlining the Hero’s Journey – which is included in chapter 6.  For an interview with Chris Vogler (from the Toronto Screenwriting Conference back in April), see here.

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To find out more about Memo From The Story Department, or other books, visit MWP’s website here.  

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