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Advice from storytellers

Storytelling involves trial and error and comes with practice. Ideas often start as notions and develop over time. Emotions play a key role in connecting with an audience; remember the initial feeling that drew you to an idea!

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  • aqualine seedling style avatar for user Dory
    What if you don't know what to tell a story about? What are some ways to get inspiration?
    (23 votes)
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    • stelly blue style avatar for user Rayba
      Just make sure that you don't stop writing (or drawing, if you're using that instead). Every day, just write down something that happened to you or an idea you thought of and just get it down.

      I thought this sort of thing wouldn't work, but my writing level has increased exponentially since my English teacher (who will have been teaching me for two years, but in different grades and difficulties, in May) started making our class take the first ten minutes of class to write an argument on a topic after giving us a quote to think about. She won't give us full credit unless it fills at least a page, so it was tedious at first, but now I'm so used to practicing that it is difficult to go more than a few days without spilling my heart out onto a page or a Word document.

      Writer's block, and any sort of creative block really, is not permanent, and inspiration is not always very easy to come across. If you honestly cannot think of anything to write about then try just finding literally any object in your house and describing it as well as you can. Just do not stop. Getting out of the groove is the last thing anyone should have to worry about.

      Good luck!! :)
      (45 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Benny
    The Map Through Time
    Chapter one
    The beginning
    Every story starts with once upon a time, in 1969. There was a boy named Fred who was moving from New York to Sacramento, California with his brother George and his sister May “why do we have to move” Fred asks “you know why” his mom replies “we didn’t have enough money to pay for the house.” “but mom I had a lot of friends in New York why couldn’t you get a new job? “Son could you be quiet while I try to find where we’re going?” His father said. “Yes sir” he replied. When they arrived to the house on 18827 Waymoore street they unpacked the car. “Freddy go clean the yard” his dad said when he saw the yard. Fred or Freddy was a thirteen year old boy who wanted to be a lot of things when he grew up he wanted to be an astronaut like Neil Armstrong, the first person on the moon. this is part of my book i shall write
    (16 votes)
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  • marcimus orange style avatar for user absakhale04
    you know the worst thing is when you come up with an idea but then you start questioning yourself that is this really good ? does it makes sense ? or wait i am just an ordinary girl whatever i think is nonsense stuff for others ! i love swimming in the ocean of my ideas coz for me they are really awesome but who will understand them exactly as i
    (11 votes)
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    • male robot donald style avatar for user Tybalt
      If you don't mind, I would like to offer you my two cents:

      Every idea has the potential to turn into a story, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at first. You can have a story about time travelers almost destroying the universe in order to stop an outbreak of shark tornadoes if you want to (yes, this story exists). Don't beat yourself up because you think your ideas are much too silly. If you are eventually going to make a story, pick one of your ideas and stick with it until you are done. If you think your story is bad, revise it. Get a second opinion of you need to. Save that idea.

      Let me know if you would like more advice or if you are still stuck.
      (17 votes)
  • blobby purple style avatar for user Harshita
    i wanna ask something what if i don't want to communicate with people but i have a nice story ??
    (8 votes)
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  • starky tree style avatar for user Abby/Abigail
    I suck at drawing but I can make a good story, how is that even possible?
    (8 votes)
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  • starky seedling style avatar for user danielhernandezramirez
    I've been focusing on a story I brewed up 4 years ago. Although I have the main character & a story, How do I get a solid idea for the story?

    Story: A teen and his friends go on a field trip, during which a mysterious alien creature gives them powers. They find out a group of people have also been given powers, but these are using them to take over the world.

    Is this to cheesy? Am I unoriginal? I feel insecure about the idea.
    (6 votes)
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  • aqualine tree style avatar for user raisarose2005
    How can I come up with the a unique conflict of a story that I am making? It is hard to come up with a problem.
    (5 votes)
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    • duskpin sapling style avatar for user Inspirational Learner

      You could look around you, and think of a problem that you have, or a person close to you has, and make it happen at a bigger scale. Also, you could borrow another story's conflict, and twist it up a bit and add some of your personal experiences in it, in order to make it feel more real.

      Take time to think about it. After all, ideas don't always come to you immediately.

      Hope this helps!
      ---Inspirational Learner
      (4 votes)
  • cacteye green style avatar for user ecasey7108
    I like drawing 🍺pitchers :)
    (6 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Benny
    i have decided to make a book i am working on it right now thanks crystal and jedi kade for inspiring me
    (5 votes)
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  • piceratops sapling style avatar for user fishyperson100
    Argh...I had this really great "What if..," and as I was turning to write it down I forgot it! Do you guys have any tips for like remembering your train of thought?
    (5 votes)
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Video transcript

- Remember, the goal of this lesson is to get you thinking of yourself as a storyteller. As you'll discover, telling stories can be challenging, so let's get a bit of advice and encouragement from our artists. - My high school art teacher pointed out the drawings of Michelangelo to me, and she pointed out specifically that you see all these marks that he's left here, these were the errors, these were the things where he was searching for the right mark and then he found the right line to draw the hand, but he didn't have to erase them, that was part of the search. And it's okay, it's actually part of the process. And so that's when, in fact, she was like, "Get rid of your erasers, in fact, use your eraser "to draw, not to get rid of something "because if you're messing up, then at least "you're sure that you're actually making progress "to something that can be better than where you started." - It's okay that your idea isn't perfect right out of the gate and it's just about identifying, is there something there emotionally that is drawing you to it and if there is, then there's something there and you can just keep working on it and changing it, but always remembering what was that initial feeling that drew you to that idea. - Ideas really, usually, when you first come up with them, they're kind of more like notions. That's kinda in the what if, what if hmm hmm hmm hmm? And then the way you get to a solid actionable idea is that you just keep working on it and every time you do a version of it, every time you do a pass on it, you get closer to the idea. - It's a lot of hard work and it takes trial and error to get that story right, because one thing that may affect you and you have an idea, is not necessarily going to speak to somebody else and that's where figuring out the best way to get them out of their head and intellectualizing what's being told them to feeling it and getting in touch with their emotions so that they're invested in what's happening to the character. - The good news is that if you love it, if you like telling stories, if you like communicating, if you like drawing pictures, you won't wanna stop, that's the great part, and even if it feels like you're not making progress, you'll see a stack of drawings or you'll see a bunch of pieces of paper that have your words on them and I mean, that's really impressive because you're making progress, so you gotta keep practicing, it's as simple as that, there's no easy way, and in fact it's really fun if you really enjoy it. - Hopefully now you have a sense of a few what ifs you want to explore and some worlds and characters to go with them. And in the next lesson, we'll dig deeper into developing characters and how we approach that at Pixar.