How to write a MacGuffin

What is a MacGuffin?

  • The Maltese Falcon from the film and book of the same name
  • The briefcase from Pulp Fiction
  • The sled (“Rosebud”) from Citizen Kane
  • Princess Peach from the original Super Mario Bros. video game
  • The Holy Grail from Le Morte d’Arthur, the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • The Golden Fleece from Greek mythology
  • The Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The rug from The Big Lebowski

How to write a MacGuffin

1. Make it memorable and desirable

2. Urgency and motivation

3. When they’ve got it, you’ll know

4. Conflict is key




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