am 8. Januar 2013
I read this book as a screenwriter, with a couple of independent movies under my belt and a stage play. So I'm not a total beginner, but at the same time I haven't produced anything of significance yet. This said, I really took away a ton of insights from this book. The whole neuro-science stuff is actually quite weak and mostly relies on pop-scientists and TED-orators like Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. Science? Not really.
Still the book is a REALLY good introduction to the craft of story-telling. I've only read a handful of books on the topic yet, still it feels like this is the one I've taken away most of yet. And yes, I've read STORY by McKee. She disagrees with McKee on some points, for example, why you shouldn't write a character's backstory too extensive(ly?). She argues, quite plausible to me, that if you start inventing stuff for your characters, that is not directly relevant to your story (e.g. your protagonist having played the piano for 12 years), it will eventually end up in the story, although it has no right of being there. Actually it's a distraction and a danger. But you fell in love with the idea of your character playing the piano so much - it creeps into your story anyways.
The best thing about the book is that the author offers many simple and elegant analogies, to otherwise complex ideas. Like unneeded story information (e.g. a superflous character) being a big elephant, wandering the halls of your story, looking for something to do (mostly damage that is).
So there's lots of good stuff here. For this low investment (in both money and time) the offered info is a real bargain. I recommend it to you and wish you all the best on your personal writer's journey.