Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling
From the helpful resources and sites forum: the 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar (io9.com)
See also this nice infographic of the 22 rules.
Some of these are simplistic or known but it is a pretty valid set.
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
How is your novel planning going? Past the point where these rules can help? Last night my characters started arguing in my head; and I had to toss and turn to try to keep this in mind until I could wake up and write it down as my opening scene (sketched out at a very high level). A good sign, I think! (except for the lost sleep)
I haven't been doing as much planning as I'd like to because I'm still trying to make some progress on my revision. I did, however, decide that I need an epic battle scene close to the end of my story. I'm usually hesitant to write these, as character study scenes are more my style, but this one is important, and I'm really excited to write it!
I"m off to check out these rules!
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall. ~Ray Bradbury
Ooh, these are awesome!
Figment: Twist, the dive-bombing leopard gecko
OOH! Ooh ooh ooh! Oh. Okay. Happy!
See, I was just in the middle of typing a reply about how these rules are helpful for me to get back into this story/these characters and actually figure things out better, because there is SO much of this story that I have absolutely no idea about, BUT! AS I was typing one of the things I don't know, something just sort of CLICKED and now I GET it and it all fits so nicely all of a sudden and OH! I AM SO EXCITED NOW! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!
See, I was trying to figure out if my story takes place in our modern day world, or a different version of our world, or a completely different non-existent world, or a dozen other options that just weren't working at all. I was starting to type that I have a vague idea of my characters' world, which may or may not overlap with our own, and then there was this CLICK in my head and I realized it's OUR world, but with this extra layer to it that has some very different geography, and the characters go back and forth between the two, and WOW... That was a ridiculously huge help.
So I guess it wasn't exactly the RULES that created the breakthrough... But they are helpful, and I don't think I could have gotten to the breakthrough if I hadn't been replying about the rules. So thank you very much for sharing!
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