Winter is coming.
Winter is coming.
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
#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.
#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
From former Pixar story artist Emma Coats.
So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.
And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.
If you can’t watch this video (which you absolutely 100% need to), you can read the transcript here.
You made a baby, not a fucking 7 layer cake. Literally all you had to do was have unprotected sex. OK CONGRATULATIONS, WHATEVER.
8.16.2014 - #beepbeep @sarahpark 💙👯💛 (at City of Highland Park)
Dammit, my car is getting towed by a cartoon tow truck again.
The places I run are pretty.
(1) Straight up a super-steep hill that goes up about 650’, where you can gasp for air and frantically try to lower your heart rate while taking in a panoramic view of town / the mountain / the Minarets on one side, and the airport / Crowley Lake on the other side. 3 miles up and down, total.
(2) The comfort of my couch to the top of Mammoth Rock Trail (elevation: 8,475’), which you can see in the photo. It’s the trail that cuts across the mountain immediately below the bigass rock. From there, descend down into the meadow to the left (out of frame), where you’ll be overheard by day hikers as you shout “this fucking sucks!” before looping back around on the above-pictured dirty little road back home, somewhere in that town-y looking pile of houses in the distance. 6 miles exactly, with a glorious view of the mountain the whole entire way, even though you want to puke for most of it.
Lake George is a good place to crack a beer(s).