Category Archives: Cool Finds

Great TED Talk: Andrew Stanton on the Clues to a Great Story

How do you structure your stories? Aspiring writers will often spend quite a bit of time and money purchasing and reading books on the topic, trying to find that special formula that will bring success, and we still don’t quite know how to reach it. I recently stumbled on this TED talk from filmmaker Andrew Stanton, creator of WALL-E and Toy Story.

There’s an off-color joke at the beginning of this talk, so start at 1:10 if you want to miss it.

Here are some of the things I gleaned:

  • Make a promise with the beginning that the story is going to lead somewhere
  • Great characters have an itch that they can’t scratch
  • Life is never static
  • Have you constructed anticipation in your story? Honest conflict with truth that creates doubt?
  • Storytelling has guidelines, not hard rules
  • Start from the end
  • Let characters live life conditionally
  • Can you create wonder?
  • Strive to be worthy
  • Capture a truth from your experiences