Storytelling. That’s the name of the game.
When I started this journey toward a ‘third act’ in my life, one of the things I wanted to do was tell stories again. I love doing it. I missed the creative process and the way a good story connects you with other people. To that end, I’ve been thinking about the kind of stories I want to tell and doing some research. Then I got an ‘a-ha!’ moment when I stumbled on this list of rules that Pixar uses in their stories. These rules can be incredibly valuable for any storyteller, so I’m posting them for you as much as I’m capturing them for myself.
Human beings communicate via stories. For good or evil, storytelling is a very powerful way to share ideas, get your point across, or draw people to your cause. I’m sure you can think of a hundred examples of this, but for me I just turn on the news. All you see now are different people telling stories to explain their politics, their personal feelings or their reasons for whatever they do. Stories are powerful. Therefore, as a storyteller, I must learn to tell good stories. I’m life-hacking my way through this process, and the following 22 rules are a good step in that direction.
Let’s look at them together, shall we? I’m not going to try and break them down for you: like a good story, I think they speak for themselves. If you’re having trouble reading them, just click on them for the big version:
… and there you have it. One thing I appreciate about Pixar movies is how they take the art of storytelling as seriously as they take the art of their animation. I’ve seen other studios try to produce similar films (‘Shark Tale’ came out about the same time as ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Antz’ came out about the same time as ‘A Bug’s Life’) but they always manage to fall flat. The reason (other than putting Woody Allen in a starring voice role) seems to come from these rules.
Pixar has *dominated* the animation industry for the past 26 years for a reason. It’s not just about putting production notes into a paint-shaker, there’s a deeper, human need that must be satisfied. Pixar gets it, where many other studios do not. For you and me, the big takeaway breaks down to three ideas:
Storytellers must hone their craft if they want to matter.
The craft of storytelling will be a central theme of InkIcan, beginning with this blog post. I’ll continue to talk about this with the ‘Bardist’ category of posts and you’re welcome to come along for the ride. I know that there are many, *many* other authors out there doing the same thing with their websites, but let’s see if we can use Pixar’s ideas to put us ahead of the curve.
Does this sound like something you want to do with me? Awesome – let’s figure this out together.