storytelling tips from pixar animator
Post on 15-Apr-2017
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Pixars 20 Rules of StorytellingEmma Coats, one of Pixars Story Artists, compiled narrative wisdom she has received while working for the animation studio over the years.
Get creative! Imagine the innovative ways you can apply Pixars rules to your upcoming customer engagements to help you tell a better story, and make a deeper connection.
1Admire a character for TRYING more than for their successes
You have to keep in mind what is interesting to yourAUDIENCENOT what is fun to do as a writer. They can be very different2
Creating a story around a theme is important, but you will not see what the full story is about until you are at the END. Now, RE-Write!3
4Once upon a time,There was _____.Everyday _____.One Day _____.Because of that ____.Because of that ____.Until finally
5Simplify. Focus.Combine characters Hop (or fly) Over Detours You will feel like you are losing valuable stuffBUT IT SETS YOU free
6What is your character good at, comfortable with?Throw the opposite at themCHALLENGE THEM.
HOW DO THEY HANDLE IT?
7Come up with yourEnding
BEFORE YOU FIGURE OUT Your middleSeriously. Endings are hard, start here and work backwards
8FINISH YOUR STORY,let goEven if it is not perfect. Move on, take a break, andDo better next time
9When you are Stuck:MakeAListOf WhatWould not HappenNextUsually, the material will inspire you to get unstuck.
10Pull apart:The stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you! Youve got to recognize itbefore your can use it.
11Put it on paper!This allows you start working with it. If it stays in your head as an ideaYou will never be able to share it and develop it
12Ignore the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th!idea that comes to mind. Get the obvious of the way and surprise yourself
13Give your charactersopinions!
PASSIVE & MALLEABLE might seem likeable to you, but it is boring to the audience
14Why must you tell This story?Whats the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That is THE HEART OF IT.
15If you were the character in this situation, how would you feel? HonestyLends credibilityto unbelievable situations.
16What are the stakes?GIVE US A Reason to rootFOR THE CHARACTER.What happens if they dont succeed? Stack the odds against them!
17NO WORK IS EVER WASTEDIf it is not working, let go and move on It will come back around and be useful later.
18YOU HAVE TOKnow yourself!Know the difference between doing your best and fussing over details! Story is testing and not refining.
19Coincidences to get your characters into trouble are great.
But, using them to get out of trouble is cheating
20What is the Essence of your story?
The most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.