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Writing Lessons From Pixar; 22 Lessons from a Emma Coats

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Writing Lessons From Pixar; 22 Lessons from a Emma Coats

Post by Cordelia on Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:04 am

[Originally posted by warmbutter on previous forum.]

This might be helpful--Wait, no. Let me take it again, but better. Do it better.

This is helpful for anyone who makes stories. Emma Coats worked at Pixar and created a list of 22 things to keep in mind when writing a story.

I look at it any time a story doesn't feel quite right. Which means at least a dozen times because writing is screaming into a void until sounds make words. Wait. That's just the lunch wine talking.

Help yourself: bit.ly 1eR5HZc

Also. This is from 2011. If anyone says, "Seen it! Late!" I'm going to draw a drawing of one your relatives getting a non-fatal but very sad illness.

I love you.
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Re: Writing Lessons From Pixar; 22 Lessons from a Emma Coats

Post by Cordelia on Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:04 am

[Originally posted by Irishman on previous forum.]

Some decent points. Who would have thought to write out the ending of the story before the middle!?
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Re: Writing Lessons From Pixar; 22 Lessons from a Emma Coats

Post by Cordelia on Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:05 am

[Originally posted by ME on previous forum.]

. . . Me.

I find that knowing the ending helps you contextualize everything that will happen in the middle, and greatly reduces the amount of editing you have to do later to make it all fit.

This is especially important, in my opinion, when working with something like a planned trilogy, as it allows you to plant, in the very beginning, elements that will relate to the final scene in the third book. It makes a greater continuity and sense of cohesion, and allows you to plant a lot more in terms of subtlety and foreshadowing, and build more directed character evolution throughout the stories.
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Re: Writing Lessons From Pixar; 22 Lessons from a Emma Coats

Post by Cordelia on Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:05 am

[Originally posted by imaginepageant on previous forum.]

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

Planning and outlining, absolutely. I need to know where I'm going before I get on the road, or else I'll never stop wandering. But actually writing it first? I couldn't do it. For all of my planning and outlining (and I do a good deal of it), through the journey of writing I will inevitably come up with new ideas or have to make changes to an arc in order to make it work, and that might in turn change the ending. Writing the ending before the middle might not only be a waste of time, but could even become a detriment to my writing process, as I might try to force the middle to fit the end instead of letting it grow and evolve and improve beyond what I'd originally envisioned. That isn't to say I won't write bits and pieces of scenes or even just lines of dialogue here and there, when inspiration strikes. (For instance, there's a certain scene in my Skyrim fanfic that inspired the entire story, and I had most of the dialogue for it written out very early on. While the structure of the scene changed entirely, going from a lighthearted and playful post-celebration conversation to a much darker and emotionally heavier post-funeral conversation, I still used most of the dialogue I'd written for it two years ago.)


#10: 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.

Fantastic advice, also to recognize the technical side of storytelling. I did an exercise once where I pulled apart one of my favorite movies, scene by scene, to see how it fit into a standard three-act plot format so I could better understand how to fit my own stories into that format. It really helped. I don't think I'd ever noticed inciting events or act-two climaxes in books or movies before, but after studying it in that one movie, I can recognize it in everything. Analyzing a work you love is a great way to understand what makes it work, and how to apply that to your own writing.
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Re: Writing Lessons From Pixar; 22 Lessons from a Emma Coats

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