The more I work at ironing out my plots and trying to make every word count, the more I admire good storytelling.
Like Pixar movies. Even Pixar movies I've seen a dozen times never cease to amaze me. There are little things here and there - original, streamlined, no-more-no-less storytelling that make each movie simply incredible. The plots may be simple, but simple isn't a bad thing.
They're deceptively simple, in fact. It's *hard* work, making every scene of your story lead to the next scene - making everything fit together in one understandable and cohesive whole, to raise the stakes little by little. Simple? Maybe. But you should never judge how hard something is till you've done it yourself: and writing a streamlined story is a lot harder than it looks.
It's confusing and tiring work. And I'm just starting to learn that simple is often better than complicated.
Somehow, Brad Bird can tell a better story with a rat in Paris than I can with a haunted teenager in a complicated fantasy world. And I think any writer could benefit by studying just how he and other Pixar directors do it.
All I'm saying is, if I ever get half as good at telling stories as Andrew Stanton or Pete Docter or Brad Bird or John Lasseter, I might actually be able to turn my good ideas into good stories. Here's to hoping.
What about you? What are your stories, the ones that you fall back on when you need a reminder of what good storytelling looks like? I'd love to hear your thoughts.