PIXAR’S 22 RULES OF STORY 彼思寫故事的22條規則

These rules were originally formulated by Emma Coats, one of Pixar’s Story Artist. 
She has compiled snippets of narrative wisdom she has received working for the animation studio over the years and formulated them into 22 rules. These rules can be applied to many styles and genres of writing.

  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 v. 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.




這些規則最初是由皮克斯的故事藝術家之一Emma Coats制定的。

她編寫了多年來為動畫工作室工作的敘事智慧片段,並將其製定為22條規則。 這些規則可以適用於不同寫作風格和流派。

1. 敬佩一名角色的努力不懈與勇於嘗試,多過於敬佩他的成功

2. 切實感受觀眾想要什麼,而不是你想要表達什麼。

3. 規劃自己想表達的主題很關鍵,但不到最後一刻你的觀點都是斷簡殘編。

4. 從前從前……他們每天……直到有一天……因為……所以……因此……所以……最終……

5. 簡化、專注、整合特色、截彎取直。這樣雖然可能讓你覺得失去了有價值的東西,但它可以幫助你從固有思維中解放。

6. 你的角色擅長做什麼,喜歡做什麼?給他們相反的東西,看他們如何挑戰自己解決這些不曾解決的問題。

7. 先思考故事的結局,再考慮過程和發展。說真的,結局部分是最難的,所以在一開始就得先細膩規畫。

8. 落筆後,即使故事未臻完美也就此結束。完美結局存在於理想中,你得向前走,下次再做得更好。

9. 如果構思卡關,列出一份「下一步絕不可能發生的事」的清單,它往往能告訴你下一步應該怎麼做。

10. 把你喜歡的故事打散,明確自己究竟喜歡的是哪些元素,然後才有化為己用的可能。

11. 把好主意寫在紙上不斷地修正完善,不表達出來只會爛在腦子裡。

12. 愈早出現在腦海中的想法愈要打折扣,也不要侷限在第二個、第三個、第四個想法……想盡辦法打破平庸無奇,讓自己被自己驚喜。

13. 讓筆下的角色擁有自我意識,而不是你的魁儡。為角色安排劇情對編劇而言很簡單,但對觀眾來說很無趣。

14. 你為什麼必須說出這個故事,這個故事吸引人的部分源於你內心的何種信仰?這就是故事通篇的核心。

15. 想像自己就是筆下的角色,在這種情況下你會怎麼做?把自己丟進難以置信的情境中,感同身受。

16. 利害關係是什麼?給觀眾一個理由去支持這個角色。

17. 世上沒有徒勞無功,即使暫時毫無作用,但終究會在某個時候將發揮價值。

18. 你必須了解自己,了解自己什麼時候是在竭盡全力,什麼時候只不過是手忙腳亂。

19. 讓角色「一不小心」陷入困局是很好的手法;讓角色「一不小心」擺脫了困局,大家會認為它是開外掛。

20. 試著找一部你不喜歡的電影,將其拆分重組成你喜歡的樣子。

21. 你所創造的角色與場景都得具有意義,不能只是「酷」而無邏輯,背後必須有明確的動機。

22. 你故事的精髓在哪裡,可以用最簡潔的語言表述出來嗎?如果你已經有了答案,就從這裡開始吧。


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