“Buzz” Shares His Story Rules



Little Dude LOVES Toy Story. “Buzz. Buzz? Buzz?”

We must have watched “Buzz” 50 times. Easy.

Other than the awesome graphics, it’s impressive how amazing the Toy Story story-lines are.

I’ve never ventured into the world of fiction writing. Although, I think it would be very cool. But it’s a bit intimidating. Creating a great story from nada seems like a lot of hard work. With a good chance of the end result being crapola.

Luckily, we have help from Pixar – the writers of Toy Story. One of Pixar’s story artists, Emma Coats, recently tweeted a series of 22 “story basics.” Pretty great to get the inside scoop.

Not sure if I’ll ever head down the fiction path, but it’s nice to know I have some great basics.

Here’s the top 10, and you can find the full list here

#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?

#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.

Hats off to Kottke.org for sharing another great link.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.