* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: A common misconception is that Robert [=McKee=] is heavy on "Hollywood-style tactics," as seen in {{Film/Adaptation}}, but the opening chapter alone espouses timeless storytelling principles over "recipes to reheat Hollywood's leftovers," and goes further into the concept of "Hollywood Films" vs. "Art Films" shortly after.
* FunnyMoments: Many of the examples [=McKee=] provides, ranging from just plain funny to StylisticSuck.
** The "Personal Story" and "Guaranteed Commercial Success" synopses, detailing where most common stories go wrong. In the former, an AntiSue PinballProtagonist has trouble at work, home, and with her lover, and then suddenly gets a promotion, a new roommate, and a new lover 2/3rds through the film, only to break up with him for a "tearful climax." In the latter, a software salesman comes into possession of "the-thing-that-will-end-civilization-as-we-know-it-today" concealed in a ballpoint pen, then gets caught in between a cast of characters with double and triple identities, all betraying eachother to kill the man.
** From the audiobook, when discussing Mystery[[note]]Characters know more than the audience.[[/note]], Suspense[[note]]Characters and audience know the same thing.[[/note]], and Dramatic Irony [[note]]Audience knows more than the characters.[[/note]], [=McKee=] gives the an example of a climax where a woman is looking for a killer in a hallway full of doors, only for the killer to come out of [[spoiler:the ceiling]]. What makes the audiobook version particularly funny is [[spoiler:[=McKee=] shouts, "Surpiiise!"]]
** The discussion on [[PlotHole Plot Holes]] in regards to [[{{Franchise/Terminator}} The Terminator]].
--> ''THE TERMINATOR doesn't have a hole - it's built over an abyss. [...] [Conner sends back Reese] knowing that indeed Reese will not only save his mother, but get her pregnant, and therefore his lieutenant is his father. [[FlatWhat What?]]
** Naturally, the section on comedy is a self demonstrating example.
** In his section on drafting, he talks about writers who write from the outside in, grasping for scenes in search of story, and then showing them off to friends to test how good it is, and they say, to wit, "I liked a few of the scenes, but there's something about the ending I don't like... and the middle... and the beginning."
* HeartwarmingMoments: Even in a writing guide like this, there are a few...
** In his discussion on characters, and why it is important to ask, "If I were this character, what would I do?," the answer is often shared across people because we all share the same humanity, and that when we look at all of the characters from all of the great writers and realize they all came from the same humanity, it is astounding.
** The conclusion, where he reassures writers that they will not lose their talent now that they know the craft more intricately, telling the tale of the CentipedesDilemma, but ending with [[spoiler:the centipede getting back up and able to move better than before]].
** A meta-Heartwarming Moment: While Charlie Kaufman was writing {{Film/Adaptation}}, [=McKee=]'s lawyers wanted to give Kaufman a cease and desist order for using his material and his image in the film. What did [=McKee=] do in response? He asked Kaufman to give him a [[HeelFaceTurn redeeming scene]], let him pick the actor, and ensure it has a great ending, and he'll be fine. Kaufman accepted, resulting in the film's memorable finale and Brian Cox's spectacular performance as [=McKee=], who according to [=McKee=]'s son "nailed him."
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