My Ten Favorite Storytelling Rules

At least, according to this article: “The 22 Rules of Storytelling, according to Pixar.”

1. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

2. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

3. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

4. When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

5. Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

6. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

7. No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

8. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

9. Take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How do you rearrange them into what you DO like?

10. You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

Advertisements