Pixar pioneered digital animation, but what most people think about when they think “Pixar” is great stories. The masterful storytelling they’ve exhibited over the course of thirteen films could never be boiled down to a short series of twitter ready guidelines, but that doesn’t mean that these story rules from Pixar story artist Emma Coats’ list aren’t valuable.
#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 v. 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?
Read the full list at The Pixar Touch