Pixar's 5 Storytelling Rules - Deepstash
Pixar's 5 Storytelling Rules

Pixar's 5 Storytelling Rules

  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 very different.
  3. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
  4. Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
  5. Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Pixar’s 22 Storytelling Rules | Killzoneblog.com

Next 5 Storytelling Rules
  1. Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
  2. Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
  3. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
  4. Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of?
  5. If you're your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

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5 More Storytelling Rules
  1. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  2. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
  3. Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
  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.

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Last 7 Rules
  1. What are the stakes? Reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
  2. No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll be useful later.
  3. Know yourself: Story is testing, not refining.
  4. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; but to get them out of it are cheating.
  5. Take a movie you dislike. Rearrange elements into what you like?
  6. You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
  7. What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it?

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RELATED IDEA

Steve Jobs

“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”

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  • Emphasize trying more than success.
  • Having an initial theme while writing is important but don’t get too attached to it.
  • Cutting things out is important part of the writing process.
  • Challenge your characters with their polar opposite.
  • Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle.
  • Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
  • Audiences don’t like passive/malleable characters, so give yours opinions.
  • Imagining what you would do in the place of your character helps you lend credibility to unbelievable situations.
  • Give the consumers reason to root for the character. Stack the odds against them and make the stakes clear.
  • Story is testing, not refining.
  • Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  • Trying to rewrite a movie you dislike into one you like without messing too much with the structure is a good exercise.
  • Summarize the essence of your story. If you know that, you can build out from there.

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Pete Docter

“What you’re trying to do, when you tell a story, is to write about an event in your life that made you feel some particular way. And what you’re trying to do, when you tell a story, is to get the audience to have that same feeling.”

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