Pixar Storytelling Tip #17

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.

None of us know where the rabbit hole of writing will lead, but it’s safe to say that you will need to scrap some work once in a while. Don’t sweat it. You’re probably still ahead of the game.

This is especially true for outlining and research. Perhaps the sequence of events can be used in a sequel, or another IP. Maybe all the time spent studying fruit bats became unnecessary, but you still have that knowledge for the future.

Even writing. If you scrap entire scenes in a way that you’ll never be able to reuse, you’ve practiced your craft. Odds are, if you’ve rewritten a scene, that the second version was the better one. As long as you’re fairly efficient, don’t worry about the occasional setbacks.

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  1. Reply

    This is so true. First the pen, then the knife. What gets cut can be stored, nothing is ever really lost. Still hard to do, though, as it’s so painful.

    1. Reply

      I find myself ADDING words during my edits!

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