I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.  I distinctly remember a science fiction story I wrote as a child about a girl who was a star’s daughter.  (I was obviously influenced by Dogsbody, which I only just now realized was written by the excellent Diana Wynne Jones).  I read it to some relatives who were over for dinner, to much acclaim, and thus a monster was created.

But my style and interests in writing have changed over the years, as well as my technique.  Today, I try to keep my style clear and easy to read.  That may not impress the more literary in the world, but it makes for a more pleasant reading experience for many.

I’m also experimenting with making things up as I go along, rather than plot it all out beforehand.  For short stories, that’s not too much of a problem.  For novels, I may end up writing myself into a corner — luckily, it’s easy to write myself out again.

I was excited to learn that Emma Coats of Pixar has tweeted 22 Pixar story basics.  It’s a different medium, you say — ah, but a good story must still be the basis of any movie or TV series that’s designed to stand the test of time.

The one that blew me away as a technique on first read was number 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.”

I need to try that one the next time I’m staring at the page (or screen), wondering what I’ve gotten my characters (myself) into.

Read the list yourself, and if you’re a writer, let me know your favorite.  Here’s one more to tide you over:

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

Thank you, Emma.  And I can’t wait to see Brave when it hits the theaters on June 22nd!

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