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The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

11 June 2012

From io9:

On Twitter, 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.

. . . .

#9: 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.

. . . .

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

Link to the rest at io9 and thanks to Elizabeth for the tip.

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

  1. Great article, and some interesting comments. Pixar are the only studio whose movies I almost always want to see because their stories are so well written.

  2. #1: If there’s enough trying, then the successes are awesome as well. Case in point: Lin BeiFong, from The Legend of Korra, especially in “And the Winner Is…”

    Of course, that’s visual more than written.

  3. I don’t know, I’m wincing at “you gotta” in number 2 when nothing else is written in folksy “real talk” voice but in standard written English. It’s jarring when people do that.

  4. Oops. Number three — “til.” That’s not a word. Also she uses “v.” instead of “very.” Why not clean up your personal scribbled list before publishing it?

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