Getting back into the swing of things…

Well, it’s been a while. I’d like to say that I have been too busy writing to post anything on this website, but that would be a lie. I have been too busy but, unfortunately, it has not been because of writing. I have managed a bit here and there and, now I have set myself some new targets for the WRAC#17 challenge, I am back on track with a rewrite of a script I got some great feedback on last year.

Writing time is at a premium still, but I have generated that “buzz” you feel when you finally get a chance to sit down and put some words down in Final Draft and a new story begins to take shape. It’s almost like starting again and I find myself thinking about some of the old “rules” and “tools” of writing that can help when you find yourself stuck on a particular writing issue, or pondering a structural conundrum. And, as I am working on a family script, what better advice to seek out than that of the legendary PIXAR.

I love PIXAR’S Rules of Storytelling and ran a series of blog posts when I first started this webpage looking at the rules developed by Emma Coates and expanded on by Stephan Vladimir Bugaj. I think the time is right for a rerun (there is always time for a rerun) and, while it might seem like a bit of a cheat, I always enjoy exploring the rules. If this means I can introduce them to a few new people, then all the better!

If you fancy exploring the PIXAR rules, pop over to the Introduction page to find out a little more about them. I’ll be tweeting the rules over the next few weeks, but you can always explore the links to the various rules if you fancy skipping ahead!

So, sit back, click some links and enjoy the wisdom of PIXAR!


Posted on May 16, 2017, in Writing, writing exercises, Writing Rules and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the great post, Mark.
    Motivated by your “writing time is at a premium” line, of I’ve been thinking of ways I work on a script in tiny chunks. For dialogue, I often just take a short scene and read over the dialogue and listen to whether or not it’s still fresh. If not, I fiddle with it a bit and, if there’s still time, move to another scene. I’d like something like that strategy for plot as well. Motivated by a David Lynch video (mentioned in a recent GITS post), I’m going to think of an important aspect of the plot, say A doesn’t like B (where A is the antag and B is the protag) and do something similar.
    What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a plan David. I think, sometimes, it is easy to push yourself to try and do too much when time is short. It’s almost like you have to get words on paper and produce pages to feel like you have been successful – and then, if you don’t manage to do this, you start to feel guilty, which can demoralise you further. I think the idea of thinking over certain aspect of your work is a good idea and gives you the chance to “work” on it, without necessarily having to put pen to paper. I find I do this a lot now, when I am thinking on a walk to work, or driving; I can work out a lot of plot problems in my head and worry about getting words down when I have a longer period of time to sit down in front of the laptop. Choose your battles and all that – do what you can with the time you have!


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