Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – The ‘How’ of Creativity

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling
These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

  1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
  2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.
  3. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
  4. Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
  5. Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
  6. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  7. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
  8. Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
  9. When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
  10. Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
  11. Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
  12. Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
  13. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
  14. Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
  15. If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
  16. What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
  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.
  18. You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
  19. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  20. Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
  21. You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
  22. What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Depression Is Top Global Cause of Illness & Disability for Adolescents

Subject: Depression Is Top Global Cause of Illness & Disability for Teenagers

Agence France-Presse  released an article: “Depression top cause of illness in world’s teens, WHO reports.”

Here are some excerpts:

Depression is the top global cause of illness and disability for adolescents, with suicide the third-biggest cause of death, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The finding is in a new report by the UN agency, which has pulled together a wealth of published evidence with direct consultations with 10 to 19-year-olds around the world to assess the health issues that affect them.

The world has not paid enough attention to the health of adolescents,” says Flavia Bustreo, head of the WHO’s family, women and children’s health division.

Some studies show that half of all people who develop mental disorders have their first symptoms by the age of 14, said the report.

“If adolescents with mental health problems get the care they need, this can prevent deaths and avoid suffering throughout life,” it said.

Traffic injuries were the number two cause of illness and disability, behind depression, with boys three times more likely to die than girls.

WHO said it was crucial for countries to reduce the risk by increasing access to reliable and safe public transport, improve road safety regulations such as alcohol and speed limits, establish safe pedestrian areas around schools and graduated licensing schemes where drivers’ privileges are phased in over time.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.3 million adolescents died in 2012, it said.

The top three causes of death globally were road traffic injuries, HIV/AIDS, and suicide.

“We must not let up on efforts to promote and safeguard the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, including HIV,” said WHO scientist Jane Ferguson, lead author of the report.

For adolescent girls alone, the second-biggest killer after suicide was complications during childbirth.

We must focus our intentions and efforts more on the pain and struggles of our adolescents. They are our future.

Dr. John Schinnerer

Anger management and positive psychology

Guide to Self, Inc.

Danville CA 94526


Brand New Path to Happier via Positive Psychology – 6 Week Online Video Course

I am thrilled to announce the release of the brand new, life-altering 6-Week video course… The Path to Happier: 6 Weeks to Happiness via Positive Psychology.

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This 6-week happiness video series is VERY helpful because inside are all of these tiny, simple changes for you. These are tools I’ve spent the past 15 years testing, learning and separating out only the best ones for you.

KEY: You are already making these simple changes on a regular basis. All of us are. We simply lack awareness of them. Without awareness, we don’t know where those changes are taking us!

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Fifteen years ago, I made a conscious decision to seek out the best scientifically-proven tools to…

a) Turn DOWN the volume on negative, destructive emotions such as anxiety, anger, and depression and

b) Turn UP the volume on positive emotions such as passion, engagement, contentment, relaxation, interest, awe, love and pride.

Since 1997, mastering the mind has been my driving passion and purpose. It has made it fun and exciting to get up each morning.

One of the tiny shifts in thinking that will transform your life is simply to think of how much time you spend mired in negative emotions as compared to how much time you spend in positive emotions.

When I started this journey, I spent the majority of my time irritated, annoyed, melancholy, anxious and emotionally unpredictable.  I probably spent about 25% of my time feeling some degree of relaxation, distraction, contentment and engagement (passion and interest).

Now I spend almost 75% of my time in happiness, passion, excitement and enjoyment.

How Can I Be Happy - Learn Positive psychology

How Can I Be Happy? Learn positive psychology with Dr. John Schinnerer

And this simple shift in how I think of emotions (in terms of a balance between positive and negative) has produced massive results in my life. Here is some of the proof of my happiness and the success that followed on its heels…

I consulted with a major film studio as an emotion expert on a feature length movie due out in June of 2015.

I’ve taught several courses in positive psychology to psychologists and therapists.

I’ve written an award-winning book.

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My positive psychology blog, Shrunken Mind, has received three awards from three different organizations and gets over 65,000 visitors each month (and growing).

I hosted a daily prime time radio show for a year.

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Guess what? Success follows happiness.

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You get a video series that is over 6 hours of my best material and exercises that you can use to revolutionize your life in simple, manageable daily steps.

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The video series covers the main areas of positive psychology:

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2. Engagement – getting in the zone at work and in play

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4. Meaning – how to uncover meaning in your life and exercises to create more meaning

5. Accomplishment – the need for positive actions and pursuit of mastery

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John Schinnerer Ph.D. | Buy Anger Management Course

What’s more, each video will include at least two exercises to turn up the volume on a positive emotions, cultivate strengths, get more engaged in life or improve your relationships.

That’s two exercises every week.

You’ll also get powerful frameworks to help you make sense out of your most powerful asset – your mind.

We human beings do a lot of irrational things. Then we struggle to make sense of them. And we beat ourselves up over our mistakes. Most of this is fueled by the emotional part of your mind. My teachings help you make sense out of things that don’t make sense – emotional acts.

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‘I was stuck in a job I hated when I first started with Dr. John. I was a wimp who lacked the assertiveness to stand up for my own wants and needs. Now I’m in a position that I am passionate about! I love getting up in the morning. I love going to work. I haven’t been this happy since I was 6 years old. Thank you so much. My life has been transformed.’ Beth C.

‘Thank you for sharing your gifts with such clarity and passion. You have helped start me on a new course in my life – one of passion and purpose! My wife is totally into me again. My performance at work has taken off like a rocket! Coworkers WANT to be around me and I’m getting pulled into all sorts of exciting, challenging projects. Thanks a million!’ Mike B.

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If you were to come in to see me as a client, you’d end up paying $170 per hour to learn these tools. What’s more, much of our time together would be spent with you telling me your reasons why you can’t find satisfaction, how badly you were hurt in the past, how stuck you are in anger, and so on.  All of this is understandable and to be expected…in therapy.

Yet, this is COACHING. I teach people tools so that they can find more happiness and purpose. In my experience, it’s far more important to learn the best positive psychology tools than to dwell on past injustices and hurts.  You are far more resilient than you realize.

You simply need to learn the TOOLS to manage your emotional mind.

I’ve seen people rise from the ashes of the worst possible childhoods and the most traumatic situations and simply thrive once they put the tools into play. By focusing more on the solutions rather than the problems, tremendous changes occur that at one point seemed impossible.

To give you a comparison, normally I charge $1020 for 6 hours of individual coaching.

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This is the first time I’ve ever put these teachings publicly on the web. I want to ensure a high quality experience for everyone who gets in.

My No Risk, 100% Money Back Guarantee to You

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A full money back guarantee for 90 days. If you don’t like it, contact us and you will not be charged a dime.

If you like it, you will be charged one payment of only $147.

My individual clients pay more for this for one hour of my time.

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Yes, I want to order The Path to Happier: 6 Week Course in Positive Psychology with over 6 hours of teachings and exercises now for only$147!

To life, love and laughter,

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Award-winning author and emotion expert


Having A Sense of Purpose Adds Years to Your Life, New Study

May 12, 2014

Association for Psychological Science
Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age.
Credit: © Vitaly Krivosheev / Fotolia

Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says lead researcher Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada:

“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” says Hill. “So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”

Previous studies have suggested that finding a purpose in life lowers risk of mortality above and beyond other factors that are known to predict longevity.

But, Hill points out, almost no research examined whether the benefits of purpose vary over time, such as across different developmental periods or after important life transitions.

Hill and colleague Nicholas Turiano of the University of Rochester Medical Center decided to explore this question, taking advantage of the nationally representative data available from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study.

The researchers looked at data from over 6000 participants, focusing on their self-reported purpose in life (e.g., “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them”) and other psychosocial variables that gauged their positive relations with others and their experience of positive and negative emotions.

Over the 14-year follow-up period represented in the MIDUS data, 569 of the participants had died (about 9% of the sample). Those who had died had reported lower purpose in life and fewer positive relations than did survivors.

Greater purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk across the lifespan, showing the same benefit for younger, middle-aged, and older participants across the follow-up period.

This consistency came as a surprise to the researchers:

“There are a lot of reasons to believe that being purposeful might help protect older adults more so than younger ones,” says Hill. “For instance, adults might need a sense of direction more, after they have left the workplace and lost that source for organizing their daily events. In addition, older adults are more likely to face mortality risks than younger adults.”

“To show that purpose predicts longer lives for younger and older adults alike is pretty interesting, and underscores the power of the construct,” he explains.

Purpose had similar benefits for adults regardless of retirement status, a known mortality risk factor. And the longevity benefits of purpose in life held even after other indicators of psychological well-being, such as positive relations and positive emotions, were taken into account.

“These findings suggest that there’s something unique about finding a purpose that seems to be leading to greater longevity,” says Hill.

The researchers are currently investigating whether having a purpose might lead people to adopt healthier lifestyles, thereby boosting longevity.

Hill and Turiano are also interested in examining whether their findings hold for outcomes other than mortality.

“In so doing, we can better understand the value of finding a purpose throughout the lifespan, and whether it provides different benefits for different people,” Hill concludes.

Preparation of the manuscript was supported through funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant T32-MH018911-23), and the data collection was supported by Grant P01-AG020166 from the National Institute on Aging.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. P. L. Hill, N. A. Turiano. Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood. Psychological Science, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/0956797614531799