1. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    storytelling tips from Pixar

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mckk, Jan 23, 2015.

    Came across this cute little list of storytelling tips from Pixar :)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/pixar-storytelling_n_1718854.html

    Thought maybe some of us here would enjoy these and/or find it useful.

    It would be great if anyone has more to add - what are your little storytelling tips? :)
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Great tips I especially like the one -
    I try to do this which is probably why there are great pauses when I write. One scene a pause to daydream. Go back edit, then write some more.
    But I'm not crazy about one of the tips -having to nail down an ending before a middle. Endings are always up in the air for me. I have an ending in mind but they're always up for change.

    Though I love going to sites and finding writing tip articles and even writing them - :) - my favorite way of finding a good tip is to read articles on authors http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews and taking tips from what they say.
    I like Nabokov's quote, I'm not sure I got it from this site though. So far I've read Marguerite Young's and a few others.
    Great quote and it actually got turned into a movie called Treed Murray.
     
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  3. J Faceless
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    J Faceless Active Member

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    Saw this before, absolutely loved it. I'm a teacher and use this in my lesson planning, it really made a positive difference for me.
     
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  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @peachalulu - I agree with you re the middle. The ending isn't hard for me - it's the middle. In fact, currently I'm having trouble figuring out the middle!! It always feels like the beginning is good, cus you're establishing the story and all the mysteries etc and introducing the problem. The end is good cus there's the climax and end game. But the middle is often a bit meh...

    And yeah discarding the first dozen most obvious things is good practice. In the past I was always prone to going for the easiest, most obvious solutions, and then I wondered why I was bored writing it lol.

    The Treed Murray? Never heard of it but it sounds like fun :D Was it a good film?
     
  5. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pixar movies always make me cry—their gosh darn good at telling a story which drills right down to the heart. I like the second one most.
    Though I understand why others might not agree. I mean, the best writers probably just write for themselves or whatever, but I've always been more interested in entertaining than anything else.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah Up was surprisingly deep and unusual. I just came back from watching Pixar's Big Hero 6 actually - I cried at the end lol.
     
  7. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great tips, especially "Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself."

    Shame they forgot these tips with Cars and Planes.
     
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  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    My hope is that they're getting all the shameless cash grabs out of the way while they plan something good.

    That said, if Big Hero Six steals the academy award from Boxtrolls I will shit a fucking brick.
     
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  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Is Boxtrolls any good? Big Hero Six was awesome :D Can't wait for Inside Out either.
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Boxtrolls was fantastic! The plot and the writing are some of the most original we've seen this year. Their dedication to stop motion is beyond admirable and their movies are full of heart.
     
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  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I really liked it. A lot of swearing but interesting premise and good performances. I think it was Canadian and independent. It's up on Youtube if you want, unless they yanked it - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3AA576E5C6C106A5
     
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  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's remarkable how accurate those tips are, considering Pixar movies hardly require a brain.
     
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  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol. If there's one thing I learnt after all this time writing, it's that story/plot really doesn't have to be complicated. Characters don't even have to be complicated - they need just enough to show some depth, with a bit of charm. Give them a worthy goal people can get behind and voila - you've got yourself a winner. I actually feel inspired it can be that simple to make a good, or great, story that so many people love.

    Pixar's basically boiled all the elements of good storytelling down to a T and has learnt to recognise when something's a good idea. That said, it's actually quite hard to do - but it probably helps that every Pixar movie idea has to go through an entire team before it gets approved. You're essentially getting professional advice, as a professional, before you ever build your project.
     
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  14. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're obviously an optimist (compliment). I always assumed Pixar consists of a team to make the story as generic and broad as possible.
     
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  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Aaah, I gather you're not a Pixar fan then. Yeah in general I love a fun animated movie - it's true most of it is kinda predictable but it's still fun :D and you can't argue with its success.

    I guess, though, playing the devil's advocate, Twilight and 50 Shades are also booming successes and I certainly hope I never write like either of them... o_O
     
  16. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Pixar movies are hit and miss with me. I've seen a few of them but the only ones I really liked were Wall-e, Up and Finding Nemo. With Wall-e my favorite, I loved how there was hardly any talking in the movie. Pretty gutsy move. I like Toy Story but I was always a bit miffed at it knowing it's a complete rip off of Jim Hensen's Christmas Toy which I loved as a child.

    I don't envy people doing children's movies they're probably under so much pressure to make it good, to relate to the broadest audience across many cultures, it's not even funny. I think if so much money wasn't involved the movies might be a little more creative but then again maybe not. I've always thought Tim Burton was overrated and as one note as Disney at their worst can be.

    My favorite children's animated movie actually comes from the 80's - The Secret of Nimh - I just watched it a few weeks ago, hadn't seen it in decades and forgot how interesting it was. Also a good movie for a strong female hero that didn't need to prove her worth with a lot of fighting.
     
  17. DennisWillis12
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    Thanks for giving such a nice tips for writing the stories, it would be really helpful for me because I am a struggling writer and just started writing short stories.
     

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