Pixar Rules of Story #20: Deconstruction


Exercise: Take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How’d you rearrange them into what you DO like?

Rule #20 is closely linked to Rule 10#: Finding your Voice and is essentially a writing exercise to help us come up with ideas and solutions for tricky situations in the films we watch. The rule specifically talks about films we don’t like, focusing on aspects of the films that didn’t work for us and thinking about how we would rewrite them to improve them. How would you deconstruct and rebuild them?

Personally, I don’t think we should be concentrating on films we don’t like or that are “bad” – we should do this for all films we watch. There are aspects of every film that might not quite work for us, so just take those and run with them. Think about how you could improve them, or just make them different.

Not only is this a good way to practice coming up with ideas and develop as a writer, but it also gives us great insight into just how hard it is for every writer to get it right all the time. You can please some of the people….. etc. etc. etc.

If you do watch a film, and feel that some parts can be improved or changed, comment below and tell us what parts of the film worked (or didn’t) for you and how you would have written them.

So, just go out there, watch film (really…watch them…all…the…time…) and have fun reimagining your favourite scenes, or scenes that you think you could improve. What harm could it do?

If you have a go and enjoy the exercise, check out Shaula Evan’s site where you’ll find lots more inspiration and, in a slightly self-serving plug, an exercise linked to this rule, that explores Sequels, Rewrites and Reimaginationings!

Feel free to comment below and remember to come back next week for Rule #21 – Know your Characters (part 2)

Please also check out the Introduction to the series if you missed that!


Posted on July 22, 2015, in rewriting, Structure, Writing, Writing Rules and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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