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.

Marvelous Nouveau

It’s nice to see some comic book related art featuring female characters that isn’t just tits and ass these Art Nouveau images by *HanieMohd  are great above Ms Marvel and later her more recent incarnation as Captain Marvel as well as many others.

I read the first couple of issues of the new Captain Marvel and I quite enjoyed it, it’s good to see Marvel making a concerted effort to have strong female characters, and giving her a non gender specific name, with a military title no less.

A little bit of trivia for you, both DC and Marvel have a character called Captain Marvel.

Continue reading “Marvelous Nouveau”

I’m Not Entirely Sure I Could Sleep With This Above My Head

We bought an aquarium 6 or so months ago and since then we’ve been a little bit fish crazy, but I’m not entirely sure I could sleep with this thing above my head. It’s made by Acrylic Tank Manufacturing and cost a whopping $11,500 (That’s a little over £7k) but it’s still really cool, there are 650 Gallons of water in there, which means you can have a lot of fish…

I’ve been meaning to post some funky Aquariums for quite some time, so this is my excuse to post a few more like this bathroom sink for example by Italbrass it’s only $4,500:

Fish Aquarium Bathroom Sink

You know what in looking I’ve found a blog post by someone else that has 20 unusual aquariums… I’m not going to replicate their effort…

 

 

Awesome Lego Creations of H.Y. Leung

Lego 8-Bit Warp Pipe Planter
This Lego Pipe Planter by H.Y. Leung is pretty cool, it’s made to look just like a pipe from Super Mario Brothers and the blockiness of the Lego makes it look that little bit more 8-Bit.

Also check out this Lego pencil, by the looks of things it’s actually a mechanical pencil and you can write with it!

Lego #2 HB Pencil

He’s also Made a Lego paper Lantern which is semi opaque and lets light through.

P3102088

If that’s not cool enough for you check out his other works by clicking on the thumbnails below:

Lego Leica M8 - white editionLego Ironman War Machine HelmetLego Apple Store - Fifth Avenue CubeLego Apple Store - Fifth Avenue CubeLego Light Bulb

Film Canister Wedding Invitation

I’m sure I know a fair few people who would love these wedding invites, they are made from re-purposed film cannisters (soon to be a rare comodity?) . These were put together by Trevor and Larissa of ambient studios.

As two passionate photographers we decided to try to turn our mutual obsession with photography into a theme.  Since both Trevor & I enjoy shooting film on the side for personal projects it seemed only natural that we integrate this somehow into our day.  (apart from actually supplying our photographers with film for their cameras of course!)
The result is a collaboration between Trevor & I and an invitation that took an assembly line of 5 to create.  We had to make about 40 after all was said and done and I was lucky enough to have the help of my ladies and a little bit of wine!  (Thanks girls!)  It was tons of fun and completely worth it…

Via Gizmodo