Clues to a Great Story as told by Andrew Stanton

Lindsay BlakeUncategorized1 Comment

“A successful novel should interrupt the reader’s life, make him or her miss appointments, skip meals, forget to walk the dog.” – Stephen King

I am constantly wanting to learn and better myself in any way possible, particularly when it comes to writing. I want to soak in the lessons learned from the greats and those in the business.

This morning I listened to a Ted Talk by Andrew Stanton titled, The clues to a great story. Stanton is the writer behind the three “Toy Story” movies and the writer/director of “A Bugs Life”, “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E.” He has two Oscars, as the writer-director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E. He was also the voice of Crush, the laid back turtle in Finding Nemo.

When I was done I was left with the question…. Do our books tell a great story? It’s a question Layne and I are asking ourselves as we get ready to send our first off to agents/publishers and start our second edit to our second book.

Some tidbits I found fascinating from this 19 minute talk:

  • All well drawn characters have a spine – an inner motor, a dominate unconscious goal that they are striving for
  • Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty
  • When you are telling a story, have you constructed anticipation? Have you made the reader want to know what happens next?
  • Have you contracted conflict with truth that creates doubt in what the outcome might be?
  • A strong theme is always running through a well told story
  • The best stories infuse wonder – the magic ingredient, the secret sauce
  • Use what you know, capture from what you are experiencing, expressing values you personally feel deep down to your core

One Comment on “Clues to a Great Story as told by Andrew Stanton”

  1. It’s not just putting words on a page.

    With so much to learn I’m glad you guys are willing to learn it!

    Keep it up. This is going to happen (she said with a squeal!)!!

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