The Art of Excitement for Screen, Page, and Game


By Robert Mckee

By Bassim el-Wakil

Formats and Prices




$38.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 6, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From the master of Story, Dialogue, and Character, ACTION offers writers the keys to propulsive storytelling.  

ACTION explores the ways that a modern-day writer can successfully tell an action story that not only stands apart, but wins the war on clichés. Teaming up with the former co-host of The Story Toolkit, Bassim El-Wakil, legendary story lecturer Robert McKee guides writers to award-winning originality by deconstructing the action genre, illuminating the challenges, and, more importantly, demonstrating how to master the demands of plot with surprising beats of innovation and ingenuity.

Topics include: 

  • Understanding the Four Core Elements of Action
  • Creating the Action Cast
  • Hook, Hold, Pay Off: Design in Action
  • The Action Macguffin
  • Action Set Pieces
  • The Sixteen Action Subgenres

A must-add to the McKee storytelling library, ACTION illustrates the principles of narrative drive with precision and clarity by referencing the most popular action movies of our time including: Die Hard, The Star Wars SagaDark KnightThe Matrix, and Avengers: Endgame.

  • "ACTION inspires action. McKee and El-Wakil have created the guide I’ve been looking for all my years as a professional screenwriter. ACTION helps you understand how and why the thing works—how its heart beats, how it thinks, and most importantly, what makes it move. For a professional action writer, it almost feels like cheating."
    Zak Penn, American screenwriter and director
  • "Robert McKee’s books offer lucid analysis, perceptive insights and fruitful challenges to those of us who practice the magical arts of storytelling. I highly recommend his latest: ACTION—THE ART OF EXCITEMENT Buy it, read it, put it to work!"
    Michael Hirst, creator, screenwriter, series producer of Vikings, and Billy the Kid
    The Washington Post
  • "Universally acclaimed."
    The New York Times
  • "McKee is the world's best-known and most respected lecturer of Storytelling Arts."
    The Wall Street Journal
  • "The ultimate master."
  • "His great insight into storytelling is unparalleled."
    Los Angeles Times
  • "A not-so-secret force in the movie industry and Hollywood's most sought-after screenwriting instructor." 
    Vanity Fair

On Sale
Sep 6, 2022
Page Count
240 pages

Robert Mckee

About the Author

Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar, is the world’s most sought-after lecturer in the art of story. Over the last 30 years, he has mentored screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors. McKee alumni include over 60 Academy Award winners, 200 Academy Award nominees, 200 Emmy Award winners, 1000 Emmy Award nominees, 100 Writers Guild of America Award winners, and 50 Directors Guild of America Award winners.

Thomas Gerace is the founder and CEO of Skyword, a leading content marketing platform and services company serving brands including Samsung, Philips, Mastercard, IBM, GE, Colgate, and HP. A pioneer in digital marketing, Gerace has helped hundreds of marketing teams to adapt and thrive amid constant disruptive changes in technology and consumer behavior over two decades.

Learn more about this author