Pixar’s Rule #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.
Pull apart the stories you like. In my early years of teaching we taught a form of ‘writing to read’ in primary school. The students learn to be better writers by reading and in reverse better readers by writing. Find stories you love to read. Dissect them and ask yourself, What do I love about this story? What do I love about the character? What do I love about this genre? When you discover what makes pull a book from the shelves at the book stores, then you know what you would be best at writing. It is always easier to do a job you love. Writing is your job, so you should love what you write. It would be easy to get stuck in rut, if you hate what you’re doing.
One of my favorite stories is DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth. Tris is a strong female. If you were just given her physical attributes, it might not scream strong female. It’s her inner confidence and emotional restraint that make her strong. Four is the male main character. He is respectful, strong, and confidence. Two strong characters who complement one another, but don’t rely solely on the other person’s strength. These are characters, I would love to be, to date, or to be best friends with, and that is what I am looking for in a main character. So, when I write the traits that are important to me as a reader. I don’t want a weak female that can only be saved by a strong male main character. Can he save her? Absolutely, but I want her to be able to return the favor. Down deep, that is what I like—it’s me. Knowing this should make it easier for me to write about my characters. These traits are things I recognize as admirable and they would make my character ‘real’ to me.
When I pull a story completely apart, I like to use story maps, outlines, or flowcharts. You can easily plug in the story element and work your way through the meat of a book. Again, in reverse using these tools will help you in writing a great story and working your way through characters, plots and sub-plots.
Once you pull all these things from your favorite stories, and you feel them resonate with you. Recognize the parts that speak to you—positively and negatively. Use this information to help you work your way through you own writing. Write what you love and love what you write.
Immerse yourself in things that draw you. Those are the stories that are part of you.
What makes you love a story?
Also, all of you should check out the posts from my blogging friends who are doing this challenge with me! The first posts go up today. Links to Kate Brauning, Talynn Lynn, Mary Pat, and Alex Yuschik’s blogs are located on the side bar.
We’d love to see comments on our post and share anything you enjoy. Thank you for reading!