If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend attending one of Robert McKee’s Story Seminars. If you can’t, then this book is second best. In it, McKee outlines what makes a great story – elements, principles of story design, and the writer and relationship to story. Employing examples from over 100 films, McKee shows how to use form, not formula. Transforming the craft of screen writing into an art form, he shows us the subtle considerations necessary to make a story memorable. Beat by beat, the emotional map is laid out for us to follow. An excellent practical example of how story works.
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting