Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling

This list by former Pixar employee Emma Coats has been floating around the internet, I thought I’ve share it here for inspiration. Pixar consistently release films with amazing stories, and well rounded characters, and while I don’t always agree with having “Rules to Follow” a little bit of advice can go a long way.

  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.
  6. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  7. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
  8. 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.
  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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
  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.
  15. If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
  16. What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
  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.
  18. You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
  19. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  20. Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
  21. You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
  22. What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

While on the subject here is some “Advice to Writers” by Neil Gaiman, I’m sure this was originally in one of his NaNoWriMo Pep talks.

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

It’s fairly simplistic but I think it worls.

Skyward Heart

Skyward Heart

This pendant which is in the shape of a heart container from The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword is quite cute. It’s by The Pixelsmithy, and will apparently retail for $22 but is only available to pre-order at the moment.

Interestingly they debuted on Reddit, I think they know their target market…

Via Geek Chic Cosmetics

Gangnam Style Lyrics

So I looked up the lyrics to Gangnam style on K-Pop Lyrics and they are mental… If you’ve not seen the video then watch it above, it’s awesome!

Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style

A girl who is warm and humanle during the day
A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that

I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two

You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

Why Spider-Man Needs the Hyphen

Comic about the fact that Spider-Man is spelled with a hyphen; you can remember it by pretending that the hyphen is his web!

This comic by Metro Kitty explains why Spider-Man needs a hyphen but Superman and Batman don’t. It does raise another issue. Are people actually afraid of bats? Batman is supposed to have chosen the bat because it’s something that strikes fear in the heart of men, I don’t think I know very many people that are afraid of bats, they are so cute:

How could you be afraid of that? Spiders on the other hand…

Scary Spider

I’m not afraid of spiders myself, sure some of them creep me out a little I’d I’d never hug a Black Widow, but they seem to elicit fear an awful lot more than bats do…

Handknit Anatomical Heart Pillow

Handknit "I give you my heart" Pillow - Anatomical Heart

Unfortunately this hand knit anatomical heart pillow appears to have been a one off by TheTearySeal that doesn’t stop it from being pretty cool. Also I’m willing to bet that they would do it as a commission or sell you the pattern to make one yourself if were that way inclined.

I Heart Science Mug

I found this image on Flickr user melissa_sucks‘ page and I can’t find the like of it anywhere, which is a shame because Avarinne would love it.

Best I can find is this on and american site:

And this one on Zazzle:

I did however also find this Lumbar Mug which is only £9:
W40048: Lumbar Mug 1

Human Heart Carafe


@Avarinne must see this! IT combines her love of wine and her cardiovascular research into one awesome whole, also the other Carafe is meant to be filled with water and no one I know drinks more water than Osmosis Girl!

This heart shaped Cuore carafe was designed by artist Liviana Osti and is composed of two carafes one to be filled with wine the other with water, it’s aupposed to be a reminder that we should drink as much wine as water to to maintain cardiovascular health or something like that…

I’m trying to find out if you can buy this, the article says they it ws designed as part of a challenge to students at the Bolzano University by Milan showroom Paolo C. No indication of whether they sell it, but it they do I assume it will cost mega bucks!

 

 

 

via Design Milk.