One of my favorite things about my Storytelling Class this Quarter, was discovering Ira. I really loved him. I botched the quiz on him. which really surprised me, because I enjoyed him so much. But, that just goes to show, you may really like or love someone or something, BUT you don’t always get it. and THAT’S OK. For me, what I LEARN is what is Important. THAT I LEARN is Everything. Kind of like what Ira is saying here, you know, you’re just NOT going to be THAT good some times, Especially when you are learning. And the IMPORTANT THING is to NOT GIVE UP. I’m not GIving Up. Thanks Ira. Thanks Mr. G.
Former Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats tweeted a number of valuable storytelling rules during her time at the animation studio.
- You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
- Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
- What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
- Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
- Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
- Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
- 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.
- If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
- What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
- No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
- You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
- Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
- Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
- You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
- What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
Any archetype can do anything – Perhaps they will, and Perhaps they won’t. And of that we will forever be, Curious
Once she gave her a little riding hood of red velvet,
which suited her so well
that she would never wear anything else;
which suited her, so well
Red Riding Hood carried until the great trough was quite full. Then the smell of the sausages reached the wolf, and he sniffed and peeped down, and at last stretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his footing and began to slip, and slipped down from the roof straight into the great trough, and was drowned. But Red Riding Hood went joyously home, and no one ever did anything to harm her again.
… she wore it all the time, every day, in fact. And then one day, on the playground, a Wolfess (thats a she wolf) said to her, “Don’t you have any other coats!?” “Don’t your parents buy you any other coats!?” “You wear that same COAT EVERY DAY !” and Red turned Redder. But she didn’t say anything. She did have other coats. But she liked that one. The wolf grew up and sadly went to prison. True Story. and I, grew up to have many coats, yet still to this day, wear my favorite Velvet Hood as many days in a row as I like.
which suited her, so well.
The Characters in this Yarn will be played by me. Me 1 and Me 2. Me 1 will answer and Me 2 will Ask. We need no introduction.
Me 2: Why did you create this blog ? What prompted you to start this blog ?
Me 1: Oh, I am in a class, and, the blog was an assignment option. It was hard for me to choose from the options, because I really liked a few of them, but I liked this one most.
Me 2: Why is that ? Why did you like that option more than the others?
Me 1: Well, it just really jumped out at me, more than the other options. Because…. probably because I felt I had the most freedom with that option. And also because I felt inspired by it. I felt that I could grow the most within the structure of that choice.
Me 2: Hm. Interesting. And how do you feel it’s going for you ?
Me 1: Oh. I Love it. I really do. Much more than I thought I would. I mean at first I thought it would be difficult, to set it up. I really didn’t have an idea at first, how it would be, or what direction it would take. But thats the great thing. About writing, and creative endeavors in general. I am at a point of great discovery and exploration and so I am leaving a lot of the old rules behind.
Me 2: What do you mean by that exactly, “leaving a lot of the old rules behind” ?
Me 1: uh. It means that I am letting my creativity drive more. I’m letting it be. I am letting the story tell itself. I don’t have expectation of what will become. I am not concerned about ‘rules’ much within this new structure. I’ve given myself that pass. I actually made a pass, from a vintage luggage tag and pink and orange crayons, the crayon company named them cotton candy sky and Tangerine bellows and so with cotton candy sky and Tangerine bellows I wrote on the tag, “Let It” in fancy lettering. Like a Media pass. But this is my DM Pass. (smiles)
Me 2: Cool.
Me 2: I wanted to ask you if you think you are following the option C guidelines at all ? Or – if you even Know if you are.
Me 1: Right now, I really don’t. But I am going to look at that, and try to sculpt it in. I felt that it was super important for my Discovery, Learning and Path, Critical really, to go at it this way. And because I am navigating the curves, driving, seeing the countryside this way so to speak, I know that’s a good thing. In the end that is what is important. I think that the teacher would agree. Although I can’t be sure about that, but, it’s my guess. I could only be right or wrong.
Me 2: Will you let me interview you again on this project ?
Me 1: Yes. Of course
Me 2: Come on, we have to go buy dog food.
Me 1: I know
1, 2 at the same time: Bye!