The internet is brimming over with writing advice. Unfortunately, the vast majority of it is negative. Instead of building writers up, the advice tends to send "you can't ever do this if you're a writer" messages. It's disheartening, because we are all writers. We are all storytellers. Sure, some of us are better than others, but improvement comes with discipline and practice. Whenever I see an article tearing down certain practices or habits as not being those of "serious writers," I roll my eyes. Why scare people away? There's always room for more stories.
What I'm learning in my writing journey is to talk to other writers, especially ones you respect. Writers learn from one another. If you can find writers who have the privilege of doing so as a career, definitely pick apart their brains. I have spoken to many writers over the past several years, and the happiest and most successful have one thing in common when it comes to advice: they lift other writers up. The best writers I have met even take the time to teach when they can.
The Pixar team is no exception to this rule. They are a team of quality storytellers. I'm still angry with them for making me cry within the first five minutes of "Up." Yes, I cried. You did too, if you saw it. Don't lie. Tears in ten minutes. They're THAT good.
Pixar has already been open with their creative secrets with their "Pixar In A Box" series. But now they've extended the willingness to reveal their secrets to include the art of storytelling, and I couldn't be more excited. Their course in storytelling, "Pixar In A Box: The Art Of Storytelling," is available for FREE at Khan Academy online. It is a series of videos and activities all geared toward improving your ability to tell a story.
Here's the introductory video to the series, to get you as excited as I am:
I am thrilled to see this series available. Not only is the Pixar team celebrated and awarded masters of storytelling, it seems that they are quite amazing teachers as well.
And if storytelling isn't quite what you're looking for from Pixar, then choose from any of their other generous offerings. From Color Science to Animation, Virtual Cameras to Rendering, Pixar wants us all to succeed at making our stories become the very best they can be.