And the very last one. Finally!

pixar22What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

This should have been the first rule, huh? Why was I wasting our time with all the others…

Today ends our journey through Emma Coats’ Pixar’s 22 Storytelling Rules. She devised the rules after spending time with the Pixar team developing several major, wildly popular, animated films. So, though I may not know what I’m talking about, I trust Ms. Coats does. With that in mind, I endeavored to examine each of her rules.

Here’s the last ‘rule’ (guidelines, really, don’t be fussy):

What is the essence of your story?

Does a princess save her kingdom? Does a woman leave family behind to find herself? Or is she just on a grand adventure?

Knowing exactly what it is your story is about (love, revenge, betrayal), allows you to branch out from that one, fruitful seed. It helps set the tone of your work, applies a focus to the plot, and guides you away from tangents.

To help find the essence of any story, sum it up in one sentence. Once you have the core of your tale, the rest can fall in place.

I hope you enjoyed this series. You can find all related posts here on my Tips page.

Until next year, Happy Holidays!