During my time at Pinewood studies as part of the Enter the Pitch competition Nick Park, creator of the Wallace and Gromit series, told me to look into some of the writings about screen writing by Robert McKee to learn more about good story writing and help me make my stories engaging and memorable.

McKee is a very famous author and lecturer in the world of screen writing and story development. He holds many seminars in Hollywood about the principles and rules of story.

As I receive quite a few emails from aspiring writers via the Hope Animation site, I thought it might be a good idea to post the 10 commandments of screen writing by Robert McKee…

1. Thou shalt not take the crisis/climax out of the protagonists’ hand. (The anti-deus ex machina commandment)

2. Thou shalt not make life easy for the protagonist. (Nothing progresses in a story, except through conflict.)

3. Though shalt not give exposition for exposition’s sake. (Dramatise it. Convert exposition to ammunition.)

4. Thou shalt not use false mystery or cheap surprise.

5. Thou shalt respect your audience. (The anti-hack commandment)

6. Thou shalt know your world as God knows this one. (The pro-research commandment)

7. Thou shalt not complicate when complexity is better. (Don’t multiply the complications on one level. Use all three: intra-personal, inter-personal, extra-personal)

8. Thou shalt seek the end of the line. (The negation of the negation, taking characters to the farthest reaches and depth of conflict imaginable within the story’s realm of probability)

9. Thou shalt not write on the nose. (Put subtext under every text)

10. Thou shalt rewrite.