Creating Great Stories According to Pixar
Pixar is a fabulous company known for their great storytelling in famous movies like Toy Story, Up!, and Finding Nemo. How is it that every movie that this animation company seems to make can really hit home, be compelling to everyone in the audience, and always seem fun to watch? They have storytelling down pat, that’s how. Here, we will look at Pixar’s actual storytelling use that they put into practice while trying to perfect any story that they are working on. You can put these to work for you, too!
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Plan Ahead and Revise
Before you get started, think about your characters, your storyline, and your ending. Whittle your story down to an elevator pitch, including only what you need, in a few sentences. Get your ending started before you start the beginning of your story. This can help you to plan what is next. Give your characters unique backstories that are complete. Start getting stuff down on paper as soon as possible. Once you do that, you can begin rearranging, revising, editing, and rethinking the stuff you thought might work, but would work better if you thought about it more.
Challenge Unique Characters
Make your characters unique. Be sure that they have great characteristics that the audience can connect with. Explain why they act like they do by putting yourself in the character’s shoes. Think about what this character or group of characters do every day, what they are comfortable with. Then, think about the one thing that you could challenge them with that would seem totally different than their character and their daily existence. How does your character react? Why? Do they have any hidden talents to help them, here? Planning all these things out can make your story compelling and your characters convincing.
Wining over the Audience
Next, you want to think about your characters and your story through the eyes of the audience. Do not just focus on what you want to write. Instead, think about what they would want to see, even if it is harder. Take the parts that you do not like (or others do not like) and break them down and rearrange them. To get started, you can even do this with movies that you don’t like. Be sure to give your audience constant reasons to connect with your characters, like flaws, fears, and even a few shortcomings. Then help those characters overcome that.
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