Finish your story

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today I discuss the 22 rules of story-telling from Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats…

I like Pixar films (Up is my absolute favourite), but even more, I like lists of writing tips.

My friend, Peter, knows this about me and kindly forwarded a link with fantastic list of rules about storytelling. They came from Emma Coats who’s a storyboard artist with Pixar.

Many of the rules might seem more suited to fiction, but I found three, in particular that resonated for me, a die-hard non-fiction writer. They are:

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

It’s still worth reading the whole list. I think Emma Coats is going to be around a long time. She’s smart. She’s insightful. And she works for a great company. You can read more about her in the Washington Post.

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