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What is a macguffin?

Storytelling technique often used by the creators of films and TV series
Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015 she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod,, after which she created a course called "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" based on it. Over 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by education, she quickly masters new areas. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in movies/serials, and writes about it in her project's blog.
McGuffin is one of the very interesting techniques in storytelling. It's an object around which the narrative is built, which the characters are actively looking for but can't find. It may not even be part of the narrative while they are looking for it, but all the characters in the story want to get their hands on it.

The term was coined by Hitchcock, and we can find the macguffin in a great many famous movies and TV series.

For example, in almost all of "Harry Potter," it's either the Philosopher's Stone, the Chamber of Secrets, or the Deathly Hallows. The stones are endless in Marvel, the ring in "Lord of the Rings.

Or the suitcase in the recent "Faster Than a Bullet."
And in the classic Citizen Kane, the whole narrative is based on the macguffin "rosebud.
Or remember Aladdin's lamp! Isn't it an object of lust for all the heroes, positive and negative?

Of course, the macguffin is a great plot engine! When the characters are looking for something, and even trying to get ahead of each other, we are very interested in watching them.