22 Rules of Storytelling

Fantastic rules to help you write.

Jens Thoughts

I wanted to share this article with everyone. To me, it’s a gold mine that you can review over and over. I hope it inspires you.

Back in 2011, then Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats (now freelancing) tweeted 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar. Coats learned the ‘guidelines’ from senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories,tweeting the nuggets of wisdom over a 6 week period.

Last week, artist and User Experience Director at Visceral Games (a subsidiary of Electronic Arts), Dino Ignacio, created a series of image macros of the 22 rules and posted them to Imgur and Reddit.

Below you will find the list of image macros along with a text summary of Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling at the end of the post. Enjoy!

[Sources: Emma Coats, Dino Ignacio, The Pixar Touch]


pixar's 22 rules of storytelling as image macros (2)

Written by Emma Coats | @lawnrocket

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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 16


Day 16: 14,275 words

Just more description, expanding the islands and the different types of dragons. Also moved time on slightly to show my FMC getting frustrated at different little things about the archipelago. Know when the shine comes off something and you start noticing the annoying things? She’s at that stage.

Just hoping this will keep me writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 15


Day 15: 13,740

Just wrote some description of the island and my FMC contemplating her discovery of the dead dragon.

So not much written but I have contemplated something from No Plot? No Problem! Namely, writing the scenes I want to or the main ones necessary and writing the filler scenes later. I think it would definitely be an idea as I do want to get the bare bones of the story down so if I decide to go back to it later, I can.

I know it’s silly to think like this but I feel like I am cheating a little. The aim of the event of course is to get a full story written or at least down on paper/the screen and that’s what I am doing but I feel I am cheating. I guess it’s because I am trying to write more so the idea of skipping scenes seems, well, wrong, to me.

Am I daft in thinking like this? Can anyone help here?

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Days 13 & 14


Sorry! Slightly behind again on posting.

Word counts first.

Day 13: 12,427 words

Day 14: 13,718 words

Not many things have happened really. My FMC set up home in the cabin, received an air drop of supplies, named the dragon that has followed her around as well as noticing that the dragons seem apprehensive of her and having a dragon drop dead in front of her. Gruesome but necessary to try to kick-start the story. She’s also got a letter from another character who has dropped a hint that she might want to look at everything she finds in the cabin.

So not masses have happened but getting there.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Days 11 & 12


Word counts first.

Day 11: 11,873 words

Day 12: 12,405 words

So what’s happened over the weekend?

Well, my word goal has dropped from 50k to 25k. It was just not going to happen this month with everything going on around me. At least, I can get as much of the story written as possible and write a basic outline of the story. I just want to write and this is the first time in a long while I have really felt like trying to write and going for it. That is my priority for now.

In terms of real story, my FMC is already beginning to talk to the dragon and her dog about what’s going on and her thoughts and feelings. This might seem like an odd thing to note but considering that my FMC will mainly be on her own for much of the rest of the story, it is important that the character starts developing this. Note just to help her work things out but also for her mental health.

Speaking of characters, the FMC and her crush have also decided to run away from me again by kissing in the forest and then she slapped him for doing so. It’s what happens when they apparently really want to be together but cannot. Quite a tune change from earlier. My characters can be evil like that.

My character has also finally arrived on the main island of the archipelago! Hurrah! Took me forever to get their but she is there finally and I can start the next part of the story properly. Maybe the words might be a little easier this time, maybe.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 10


Word Count: 9,867 words

Again not masses written. Just my character going for a walk with her dog and coming into contact with the dragon she had met before.

So not much to tell, again. Just hoping I will get more written with a few days free to write.