Stories are probably the most powerful tool a human can leverage to sell a product.
They get into our brains, generate emotions, and make us take action. They allow you to communicate an idea without sounding like a used car salesman.
Pixar is one of the companies that have created some of the most fascinating stories. Toy Story, The Incredibles, Up, Finding Nemo, you name it – Pixar is in the business of selling magic. And, of course, merchandise: Millions of dollars of it.
With the help of a Pixar document, here are a few guidelines to write better stories.
These are our favorites:
Keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience
Come up with your endings before you figure out the middle
Endings can be very hard to write. Writing conclusions or endings can feel tedious. You’re more likely to do them if you write them first. It also helps summarize what you are to write about as an outline of sorts and can help you stay on track.
Finish a story and share it even if it’s not perfect
In an ideal world, you have perfection and speed, but move on. Identify what doesn’t work, and do better the next time.
Discount the first thing that comes to your mind
And even all the next ones. Get the obvious out of the way. This principle is true for ideas in general. Even when you write headlines. The more ideas you generate, the better they’ll be.
Coincidences to get the character into trouble are great
But coincidental events to get them out of trouble don’t generally work because your audience won’t trust it.
Identify the essence of the story
What’s the shortest way to tell it? When you know that, you can build up from there. And summarizing your story is especially important if you’ll have to share it through different mediums.
You don’t always have 2000 words to tell it. You might have all the room you want for a blog post. What if you’re writing an ad for Facebook or a thread for Twitter?