Good Books to Read * September 2015
A Power Trio of Two Good Books and One Cool Film
As some of you know but most of you don’t, I want to write best-selling fiction and creative nonfiction books. I know: success is anything but assured. However, my new motto is #neverhide, so I might as well tell the truth about my aspirations.
This month I want to treat two books and a movie, together. The first book I’ve already shared with you, but it is having such an impact on me that I want to share it again. It is called Story by Robert McKee. This wonderful book is teaching me about the structure of story and how to develop stories. Since reading it, I have been observing the stories I read and see in a new way.
Now, I am learning to see stories with a kind of x-ray vision. Along with how to research stories and delve into minds and motivations of characters who do not yet exist, I am starting to see the flesh and bones of story underneath the skin. It’s thrilling!
One of the greatest achievements of American literature is The Portrait of a Lady. At first the ending upset me. I had to turn to Wikipedia even to understand it (also revealed in the #neverhide spirit). I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ve been considering the structure that supported the development of Isabel Archer’s character, the impressively rich completeness of that character, and, my latest realization, that James warned us that we would end up feeling at least conflicted about Isabel’s fate. He was taking care of us! It’s a story that just keeps unfolding.
The second and last story I want to discuss is Persona, directed by Ingmar Bergman. It’s an example of what McKee calls “anti-plot.” What happens is that the character ends up in the same condition as she (or he) started in. McKee tells us that this kind of plot is rarely successful, but sites Persona as an example of one that does.
My experience was that, after watching the film, I had a wonderful and thought-provoking two-hour conversation with my partner. It did not delve deeply into character so much as human experience. Part of why this film is so successful is that it evokes universal themes.
Here’s what I recommend: read this power trio of two books and one film and see how they change your world.
Do you need digital marketing services? Please connect with us for a complimentary digital strategy session! Just click here to get started.