October 27, 2009

Some Pointers Direct From Pixar

Hello Folks!

So guess what? November's here, and with it the opportunity to do more. More writing that is :)

And not just novel writing (yes, yes, I'm still working on my novel, finishing it up--I'm shooting for the end of 2009 to get it completely done, till an agent or editor makes recommendations, that is), but other forms of writing as well. My goal is to work on a few short stories, and... screenwriting.

Yep, you read it right. Screenwriting. I'm excited and anxious to start on this project at the same time. Nervous because I've never seen a movie script before (though I've seen my fair share of movies) and have NO idea where to start (no worries, I'm gonna do a little bookshopping ^^ More quivers to my arsenal, you know?). Excited because I know I'm going to have a lot of fun writing this too and developing this story (remember the time I told you about this friend of mine who'd made fun of me, well, it's the idea that spawned off that!). Of course, I'll let you know how it goes, what I learn from the process and all that. Most definitely will be asking for help too :)

Ah-nyways, I just read this article which describes how the people at Pixar go about developing their awesomely-wonderful movies, and here are a few tips from the big guys themselves:

1. Empathize with your main character, even if you don't like all of his/her motivations or qualities.

2. Unity of opposites: each character must have clear goals that oppose each other.

3. You should have something to say. Not a message, per se, but some perspective, some experiential truth.

4. Have a key image, almost like a visual logline, to encapsulate the essence of the story; that represents the emotional core on which everything hangs.

5. Know your world and the rules of it.

6. The crux of the story should be on inner, not outer, conflicts.

7. Developing the story is like an archeological dig. Pick a site where you think the story is buried, and keep digging to find it.

8. Only tell what's vital.

And with this advice, I shall let you go back to your devices. Yay for writing! \(^.^)/

--The Writing Apprentice


  1. Pixar always comes with real cool movies. ALl blow my mind away!!!

  2. Good old Pixar. That list really should be like a Ten (Eight?) Commandments of writing.

    It was great meeting you at World Fantasy. (We met at Ken's room concert, if I remember right.)
    -Elizabeth Coleman

  3. I totally agree with you! Though I'm coming up with new quotes to post from this awesome book called "Story" by Robert McKee (about screenwriting, but I figure it's all storytelling, right?). Guess I'll put them up in my next post on Monday^^

    Yes, I remember you! That was a really fun concert :) I'd never been to a fantasy convention before, but this one turned out to be so great, I want to go to all the others as well!