Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 13

Hey there!

I get really enthusiastic when some asks me about storytelling, and how important it is to your VO career to develop and hone your storytelling skills.

It’s essential.

So, every so often, I like to roll out items from this list from Emma Coats, who used to work at Pixar as a story artist, and who serially tweeted Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

I’m sharing with you one of these rules every so often, along with how you can apply each rule to your VO artistry.

Today, Rule 13…

Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

So – you have the script, you see the words, you build your target audience member, you create your character – but does that character have goals, aspirations, experience, dreams, political leanings, morals, ethics – opinions on things that matter?

That character certainly should.

Rarely should a character be Benetton-American-Eagle-GAP non-offensive and all-inclusive, friend to everyone.


Your characters, if you want them to be memorable, if you want them to get you noticed (in a good way), if you want to book with them…better have a point of view.

Make sure you know what that point of view is before you even think about beginning your performance.

And then, blast away. Your decisions and choices will be that much easier to make.


Next rule?

Finding the passion in your voice work.

I’ll share that with you next time.

One Response to Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 13

  1. KK Ryder June 25, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    YES!!!! So TRUE! I co-wrote a screenplay with another writer who I found on CL and its our debut….the script was written with many colorful characters and we turned it into the Hollywood Screenwriters Contest- my co-writer found an interested producer on linkedin and she loves the characters and when we were having a 3 way phone conversation we were discussing some of the memorable characteristics of those people we had drummed up in our heads!…so you just never know!

    My hubby Sky and I just started re-watching Heros on Netflix – He had already watched it on TV but now he is sharing all of these amazing characters with me! He’s very excited about the fact that he has only seen 2 seasons and there are 4 -but to watch them together is a bonus- and in season 2 to watch THE PUPET MASTER character played by our very own Master Actor and VO guru…well… what a BONUS!! YES CHARACTER IS EVERYTHING! btw Emma Coats thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience! :-) Cheers KK Ryder

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