Solving a problem

Solving a problem

A while ago, Emma Coats, a Pixar Story Artist, published a list of 22 top tips for storytelling. There are some great ideas in there (check it out here, though it’s been widely reported and reblogged, so is available in a variety of places). Many of them, though, are applicable to lots of different contexts.

Suppose you’ve got a decision to make. It’s an important one, and making the wrong choice could cost you in terms of money, reputation or time. The fear of making the wrong decision can be scary, paralysing even. Here’s where one of the storytelling rules might help.

Take a look at rule number 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.’ So, think about the decision you’ve got to take. Reiterate the boundaries of your project and then make a list of all the possible choices you have, even the ones that seem faintly crazy or out of your reach. Go through all the options and rule out the ones that are unacceptable or don’t fit within the scope of your project.

What have you got left? Are any of the choices left acceptable decisions? If not, why not? What do you need to change to make it more positive? Or are you going to have to make an uncomfortable decision?


Photo: Coolcaesar (CC)

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