Rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

  • 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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Communication

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