The Career Author Podcast: Episode 64 – The Pixar Rules of Storytelling

The Pixar Rules of Storytelling

There’s always something to learn by studying the masters which is what the guys do today as they dive deep into the Pixar rules of storytelling. You will discover:

  • Some exciting things coming up on the Patreon + the newest Molten Universe Media author, Lori Drake
  • Reedsy’s new discoverability tool for authors
  • How Pixar has built its reputation as one of the most incredible film production studios in the world
  • How Pixar’s focus has shifted from storytelling to commercial success since they became part of Disney
  • The Pixar rules of storytelling: what works, what doesn’t, and how you can apply these lessons to your own work
  • Questions to ask yourself when planning a book or series
  • How you can use the Pixar pitch to structure your own stories
  • Why conflict is what powers story and the many different forms of conflict you can use in your story
  • How plotting can help you finish stories faster
  • What makes a character fantastic to watch or read in action

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

Thanks to our newest Patrons: Glori Medina, Mike McCrary

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Reedsy Discover (use THECAREERAUTHOR discount code and save $10) – https://reedsy.com/discovery

The Pixar Rules of Storytelling – https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-22-rules-of-storytelling-according-to-pixar-5916970

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7 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 64 – The Pixar Rules of Storytelling

  • Hi guys, great hack Zach, not a bad price for what could amount to quasi-editing. Does that mean if they all say a similar thing that one should withdraw the book from sale, make the corrections and re-release it?
    Congratulations Lori, well deserved.
    J how could you? Jungle book is one of my all time top ten movies. The music, the characters and the story all fit together so well, and it’s got the Beatles, kind of… And are you aware that Lion King is the reason so many writers today use the Hero’s Journey? Disney were making Lion King because they had some new technology, I think it was to do with the stampede scene, but the story sucked. As far as I recall (from a Sunday Times article over twenty years ago) they asked script doctor Christopher Vogler for help and he wrote a famous memo that outlined Hero’s Journey as he had studied Joseph Campbell. Disney rejigged their story to fit it, Christopher Vogler wrote his book, Lion King was a success and Hollywood jumped on the Hero’s Journey.
    Enjoyed the seven tips. Particularly number seven. I am more of a pantster than a planner but I always need to know the ending before I start. It’s like a journey, how can one start a journey without knowing the destination?
    Enjoyed the show today, looking forward to J’s next story set in a postapoc Disney world. Although thinking about it, wasn’t that Roger Rabbit?

    • I would definitely NOT use Reedsy Discovery as a quasi-editing tool. Only a professional editor is a an editing tool 😉

      Yes, I do know the Vogler story and how he turned Lion King around. He’s a genius.

      I’ll admit I have so much baggage with Disney. When I was growing up that company represented the bland, vanilla mainstream culture that I hated. Thank god I’ve never had to take my kids there and now they’re old enough that I’ll never have to.

  • I’m kind of with you on Disney, especially most of their films and their theme parks (I’ve been to Florida and Paris) but I do like a couple of their films; Jungle Book, the original Mary Poppins – love the scene in the bank with the kid’s tuppence – a must for any budding economists out there, the cartoon Robin Hood and the Sword in the Stone. You wouldn’t be related to Judge Doom by any chance? 🙂

  • I love this advice from the Pixar article:
    #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

    Another great show. Keep up the good work.

  • I also have a love-hate relationship with Pixar (and Disney). Inside-Out is really interesting to me because they consulted with Paul Eckman who is a psychologist and sort of the father of how emotions relate to facial expressions. Many police officers, customs officers, etc. take an intensive months long course designed by Paul Eckman in reading facial expressions, which helps them know when people are lying. I’ve used Eckman’s work in my own writing when portraying a cop who is really good at reading people and their expressions. So, I agree with Zach that Pixar did some interesting things with that movie.

    • Interesting. It’s not fair of me to paint the entire Disney empire with that brush, I know. But we’re all fickle and brand loyalty is something people tend to hold for life.

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