A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate

Story structure—the writing below the surface of the words—revealed in a helpful guide for both writers and readers

Acclaimed by successful screenwriters and authors, Invisible Ink is a helpful, accessible guide to the essential elements of the best storytelling.   Brian McDonald, an award winning screenwriter who has taught his craft at several major studios, supplies writers with tools to make their work more effective and provides readers and audiences a deeper understanding of the storyteller’s art.

When people think of a screenplay, they usually think about dialogue—the “visible
ink” that is readily accessible to the listener, reader, or viewer. But a successful
screenplay needs Invisible Ink as well, the craft below the surface of words.
Invisible Ink lays out the essential elements of screenplay structure, using vivid
examples from famous moments in popular movies as well as from one of his own
popular scripts.  You will learn techniques for building a compelling story around a
theme, making your writing engage audiences, creating appealing characters, and
much more.

Praise for Invisible Ink:

“…If I manage to reach the summit of my next story it will be in no small part due to
having read Invisible Ink.”
—Andrew Stanton (cowriter Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc.,
and cowriter/director Finding Nemo and WALL-E)

“…Brian McDonald uses his deep understanding of story and character to pass on
essential truths about dramatic writing. Ignore him at your peril.”
—Jim Taylor (Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Sideways and Election)

“… I recommend this fine handbook on craft to any writer, apprentice or
professional, working in any genre or form.”
—Dr. Charles Johnson (National Book Award-winning author of Middle Passage)

“If you want to write scripts, listen to Brian. The guy knows what he’s talking about.”
—Paul Feig (creator of NBC’s Freaks and Geeks, co-executive producer The Office)

“With Invisible Ink Brian McDonald has written us a book to keep and heed forever
because through the simple, graceful, graspable, original wisdom of it, we might
just save our screenwriting lives.”
—Stewart Stern (Screenwriter of Rebel Without a Cause)


Brian McDonald

About Author:

A sought-after instructor and consultant, Brian McDonald has taught his story
seminar at Pixar Animation Studies, Disney Feature Animation, and George Lucas’s ILM.
His award-winning short film White Face has run on HBO and Cinemax and is
used in corporations nationwide as a diversity training tool. He blogs at

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