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The Pixar Storytelling Method for Writers

Updated on July 7, 2012

Pixar is one of the best storytelling film companies. Many times, much better than Disney, which is why Disney owns them. As writers try to create memorable characters for their own creations, an insider, Emma Coats, has provided some tips that all writers should consider.

As a writer, love the characters you create more than their success. After completing your masterpiece, try to see it from a non-writer perspective, because what may seem interesting to the writer is not always that to a reader. Be prepared to rewrite huge sections. Sometimes, during the creative process what seems great is not after time elapses. Does the story still work? Keep the characters simple and focused, make them good at something and then make them face something they are horrible at. How do they handle it? Have a beginning and have a an end before you have the middle. The middle will come because you have to get to the end! Good endings are much harder than they look. As you write, you will no doubt have blanks in where to go with the story (sometimes for weeks or more), when this happens, make a list of what would not happen next. Maybe the list will help you become unstuck. Look for the parts of the story you like and those that you do not like. Why don't you like a part? Analyze it. When plotting, set aside the first few things that come to mind, keep digging to come up with something more unique. If nothing happens, go over your list and select. Make your characters with strong opinions, having characters with agreeable opinions are boring. When you put your character in a situation, put yourself in it, how would you handle it? It gives credibility to the character. Give reasons to the reader as to why you want them to root for them in the story and stack the odds against them for them to succeed. What is the essence of your whole story?

Like most writers claim, write daily, even if nothing worthwhile comes from it. Write at least an hour. Make writing a regimen, a habit.


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    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      6 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      I agree and it must be in your blood. You got to like what you do!

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Writing must be a habit!

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      My biggest obstacle is writing daily, I have to do better. Thanks for the advice, I have shared and bookmarked this hub(:

    • Gulf Coast Sun profile image

      Gulf Coast Sun 

      6 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

      What a great idea. Thank you so much for this informative article. Thumbs up and useful. Kathleen

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I agree, as a parent, I can relate to many things about Toy Story and many other of their movies.

    • thejokethatkills profile image


      6 years ago

      Great article. I particularly like your point on making sure that the characters and stories you create make sense from a non-writer's perspective because your creations are first a foremost meant to entertain a specific audience. Without your audience being engrossed in your creations, the success of your product will dwindle. I also think that one of the key reasons why Pixar characters are so memorable is because they put in just enough kernels of realism for us to relate to them. While there are truly some fanatical characters in Pixar films, many of the things they say and do are somewhat mundane, down to earth, and relatable and that goes a long way in allowing the audience to connect with them and develop a relationship where they are generally very interested in their stories.


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