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The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

1 February 2013

From io9:

Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats has compiled nuggets of narrative wisdom she’s received working for the animation studio over the years.

. . . .

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

. . . .

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

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

. . . .

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

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

. . . .

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

Link to the rest at io9

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8 Comments to “The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar”

  1. I think these are excellent! :)

  2. Can’t argue with those. #7, #7 , #7.

  3. Now it all makes sense: they outsourced Brave!

  4. There are a lot of good tips in there. However I should make mention that a book it takes many hours to read and a movie it takes 100 min to watch must contain a slightly different scale of content.

  5. The entire list is great. Love it!

  6. I liked #9. I don’t know if I’d ever use it in quite that way, but it was certainly an interesting tool to put in the toolbox, for thinking outside the box.

  7. Great stuff. Dealing with it now. It all comes down to KISS.

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