The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

io9 lists the 22 rules of storytelling posted on Twitter by Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats.

Our favourites:

#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?

#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.

#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.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

Read the full list here.

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