Pixar has an incredible track record of creating great movies. Although some of their movies have been less than stellar (“Cars 2”), the overall quality of their movies has been consistently high. If you’re interested to see the principles that Pixar uses to make their stories, you can read their list of 22 story principles.
Some of their principles are:
- #4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
- #6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal with it?
- #9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
Perhaps the most important principle is: #11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.\
Writing is about creating first and revising second. Creating is the fun part. Revising is the hard part but that’s how you turn a good idea into a great story.
It’s unlikely that Pixar will keep churning out massive hits but they will likely release good movies, so study Pixar’s principles of story telling and see which ones can help you become a better writer.