Pixars 22 Rules of Storytelling – Tubefilter

Pixars 22 Rules of Storytelling – Tubefilter.

What a great list for those of us who’s creative juices are non-existent (hey that’s me) or when they do exist tend to get damned up (oh that’s me again)

  • You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
  • 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 v. different.
  • 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.
  • Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
  • Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
  • What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  • Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
  • Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
  • 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.
  • If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
  • What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
  • No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
  • You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
  • Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  • Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
  • You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
  • What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Musings from an almost 12 year old

Because I have been so busy this week and haven’t written a review for the book I just finished and I already started another book, here is an original creation myth my 12 year old wrote for school (though after reading it the thought crossed out mind that he may need therapy ;P )

 

Mansquito

First, Mansquito was born by two disease carrying mosquitoes.

Look,” said the first mosquito, “a man of great proportions has been hatched.”

Mansquito was human, but no one was bothered by this. He quickly learned how to help others with diseases and became a doctor. However, Mansquito was a carrier of the deadly disease malaria, and more than 40% of his patients were victims of his own disease. Despite this, he led a happy life and got his medical license.

Then, one night, while Mansquito was treating his 60th patient infected with malaria, his parents came into the hospital to congratulate him for his success. The patient, however, was not as welcoming as Mansquito was,

Ah!” the patient screeched. He then grabbed a bone saw and killed Mansquito’s parents.

No,” Mansquito shrieked “you will pay for this misery you have brought to me!”

He then sent a hundred malaria carrying mosquitoes at the patient, killing and controlling him.

Then, Mansquito went completely insane. He scampered up to the rooftop of the hospital while chanting:

“You all shall pay,” he chanted, “You all shall be my hypnotic slaves!!!”

He plagued Greece with all the deadly diseases known to man, including malaria. Millions died and become Mansquito’s minions, only a few survive the “Great Human Purge.”

Two years after the purge, Mansquito dominates the Greek people.  Mansquito first started his hypnotic campaign by forcing the Greek gods to make him a god by telling them he would kill all of Man.   Then he put malaria inducing mosquitoes everywhere in Greece. After a while, the death toll started taking one-third of the population, and people were starting to panic. Even the gods were nervous, namely Hades, who experienced a decrease in souls in the Underworld.  Hades went to Zeus to explain the issue.

Hades complained “I haven’t seen any more souls enter the underworld lately.”

We have a new employer,” Zeus replied, “He gets four times as many souls then you do, and he actually does the work”

“Who dares try to steal the reason I am a god?!” Hades roared

“A God of Disease named Mansquito” Zeus responded

Furious, Hades starts to search for Mansquito. Hades searched for days and days until he finally finds Mansquito sitting on his throne surrounded by thousands of dead minions. Mansquito wore a grassy colored robe with ghostly straps and blood stains from minions puking blood.  He also wore a leather belt and an amethyst and diamond crown.

Kindly, Mansquito questioned “How has the honorable Hades beg a favor of me?”

“How dare a disease carrying whelp steal my souls?” Hades taunted.

Angry that Hades shouted with such disrespect, Mansquito commanded his minions to  kick Hades into an unsanitary jail cell. Too make matters worse; Mansquito put a camera in the room to record Hades misery. All over Olympus the gods watched as Hades rotted in a jail cell.

Embarrassed, Hades said to Mansquito “For my freedom, I offer a challenge to kill my best warrior.” Mansquito eagerly accepted this challenge and freed Hades so he could fulfill his promise of a challenge.

Afterward, Hades sent his warrior Zathos to kill Mansquito. Z athos went on to his quest to prove his loyalty to his king.

Zathos had recently died of an arrow to his Achilles spot. Despite that, Zathos was a great warrior. The reason Hades chose Zathos to kill Mansquito was because Hades had given him immunity to disease and mind control. To help him in his battle, Hades gave Zathos a sword of god killing, and sent him on his way.

When Zathos reached Mansquito’s lair, he found a sign that said:

I have made a challenge for you my friend.”

In order to face Mansquito, Zathos had to complete three challenges. The 1st challenge consisted of walking through a pool of sewage while being bitten by malaria carrying mosquitoes. The 2nd challenge was to get through a very difficult maze slowing filling up with neurotoxin. The final challenge was to drink a glass full of sewage, leaving the person who drank it only twenty minutes to live. Zathos completes these challenges and confronts a surprised Mansquito.

Finally, Mansquito challenges Zathos to a battle and attacks him with mosquitoes plagued with West Nile Virus. To Mansquito’s surprise, Zathos was unaffected and struck Mansquito down. Mansquito then pulls out a secret sheath that contained a 3-foot long sword made of gold. Mansquito then charges Zathos, locking blades for what seems like an eternity. Then, Zathos manages to fool Mansquito by pretending to surrender, then throwing a pot of hot oil on him. Mansquito started to shriek from the pain and shock of losing.

“No, this can’t be, it’s impossible!” Mansquito shrieked.

Suddenly, Mansquito’s body exploded into a ton of disease carrying bugs and vermin due to the heat of the oil. They were coming out of his ears, nose, eyes, and mouth. His flesh and bones were starting to turn visible. This continued for three minutes until all that remained were his clothes and skeleton as well as a few organs that were untouched by the bugs and vermin. Zathos was rewarded with eternal life when he returned to Hades and lived forever as a warrior to fight in many wars. However, his quest was only half complete. The bugs and vermin flew and scuttled to all the countries in the world. When Zathos heard the news, he spent forever looking for cures to all diseases to rid the world of the carriers of diseases.