Monday, March 11, 2013

A Story Tells Itself

Those who know me well in the design world know that I generally despise Top 10 lists or other magic recipe approaches to just about anything, especially good design. But sometimes lists can be good (almost everything has its place).

Emma Coates from Pixar tweeted some really great principles and questions about storytelling that the folks over at Aerogramme Writer's Studio collected into a nice little list. Not all of these are originally from Pixar, but they are all terrific to keep in mind for story.

The reason I'm posting them though is that many are universally good for creative endeavors of all sorts. My two primary creative exercises are design and music, and yet many of these "rules" resonate with me. In particular, I've grown very fond of espousing 11 and 12, especially when you want to get somewhere that is unique or innovative.

But really, often, most anything that we create involves story, so this post is not just about extracting what seems to apply. When someone hears a song, views a painting, or interacts with a digital application, there's a narrative, a happening or doing that is unfolding. The stories our creation will take part in can help inform, guide, and clarify what we are doing. So view this list as helpful when making anything that people interact with. If these strike a chord for you, print them out and refer to them often during your creative efforts.