Storytelling lessons from Pixar

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So what do a Pixar storyboard artist (Emma Coats), a songwriter (me), and a marketing or recruiting professional (you) have in common?

We are all trying to tell our authentic story in a way that our audience finds interesting.

Writer Cyriaque Lamar offers “The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar” — compiled by Emma Coats, a former storyboard artist for the CGI-focused movie studio who is now pursuing life as a film director.

This article has some great advice for anyone who is going to write anything… ever.

Here are my three favorite rules from the article:

#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 very different.”

Never forget your audience. Just because you think it is cool to come up with the next “Admissions-as-a-broadway-musical-video” doesn’t mean your audience will.
#12 “Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.”

Surprise your audience by not doing what is expected. Take them off the beaten track and show them what makes your story interesting and unique.

#14 “Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.”

I love this rule. Find the part of your story that you connect with. That is your best chance for having your story connect with others.

What are your favorite storytelling rules?

Read the rest of “The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar.”

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