Welcome to my series on Pixar’s now-famous 22 Rules of Storytelling. I don’t religiously follow all of these like they’re story commandments, but I do happen to agree with many of them. I thought it might be fun to examine why and explain what each means to me. You can start at the beginning here.
This tip is truncated and kind of all over the place. The key is how you view the story-crafting process.
Using the word ‘refine’ or not is just semantic, but the idea is that your story drafts are just tests. You might try something new in a revision to see how it plays out. You might hate it. But you need to free your mind and think of your manuscript as a series of test scenes. With the mile-high view and this perspective, it’s easy to tinker with parts to make them work better.
As far as knowing yourself, it’s great advice for any author. Know your limits. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Practice your craft and pay attention to your work. When you’re editing, be aware of what you are doing and what needs doing. These are the traits that separate experienced writers from novices.