io9: The 22 Rules of Storytelling, According to Pixar

22 rules for storytelling, according to Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats.

When I design a scenario, I’m not trying to plot a story.  However, the resolution of the scenario should result in a story.

Many of the rules here can be applied to good result.  For instance.

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

When designing a scenario I don’t necessarily know where it’s going to end.  I try to weave my scenarios together to some extent, so sometimes my players just ‘pass through’ a scenario.  However, there are elements of scenarios that can be considered important enough to be treated much as ‘endings’, and a really good thing about them is that if the party fails, that still resolves the scenario and they got to experience ‘the best part’.  Make it big, and make it exciting.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

Well… I’ll note the first thing that comes to mind, but I don’t get attached to it because I’m reasonably certain something will come up soon that will be better.

#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.

As above, not all apply directly as written, but even when they don’t you can decide to not follow them.

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