Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 16

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

Today, Rule 16…

What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

Making choices about where you’re going to go with a character is all about the demands of the script.

And you should make the hottest choices you can, and raise the stakes as high as they can go.

If your character’s role is the instigator, check in with the script and choose the path that makes for the most devious instigator possible.

If your character’s role is the sales person, you should aspire to be the most knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, informative and cooperative salesperson ever known.

And so on.

Raise the stakes. Raise the heat. Don’t be half-baked – be well-done with crispy, tasty edges.

Like the brownies at the edge of the pan that are in such high demand.


Next rule?

Nothing is wasted.

I’ll share that with you next time.

3 Responses to Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 16

  1. Linda Roper March 20, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    Thank you for that Golden Nugget,

  2. Emma Clark March 20, 2015 at 7:38 am #

    *sigh* All right… I’ll share my edge brownies with you. And thanks for passing on this keen insight into great storytelling!

  3. Cate March 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

    Mmm makes sense, it’s the crispy, tasty edges are the bittersweet part of life that keep us coming back for more. Thanks for sharing! Salute

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