Writing is an art respected by many around the world. This skill ensures that people are always connected and it provides relief to may souls from hectic lives. Best stories are the ones that connect with people. This applies to both books and movies. Like every profession in the world, even writing has some basic guidelines. These guidelines are even more important when speaking of animation films as the acting does not depend on real people, but animated characters. Here are a few guidelines that would help you write a good story.
- Ideas are important
A good story always starts with an idea. If you have an idea, it will only come to fruition once you write it down. Keeping it in your mind will make you smile, however others won’t know of its brilliance. So it is always a good idea to write down your idea.
- Discipline & patience
Create a routine and timeline for writing. Dedicate a fixed number of hours every day to your writing. Regular practice not only improves your story but also enhances your writing skills. Of course, there would be days when you won’t feel like writing or your ideas will not be free-flowing. Patience is the key. Do not give up. Write what comes to your mind and return to it later for improvements.
- Story structure
You must have a structure to your story. It should be able to enthral the audience and guide them on a journey. Work the story in such a way that the audience can use their imagination and not go astray. A good story structure ensures that the audience stays hooked till the end.
- Believable worlds
A story always begins at a place. It could be a market, a town or even a city. Communicate the story world effectively. Even if it is a fictional environment, you should be very clear about the rules and functions of the story world and make it a believable journey for the audience. Your audience should feel that they are a part of your world.
- Plots & sub-plots
A good story is not only about a good plot but also about interesting sub-plots. Your writing can make these sub-plots either clear or murky, depending on the story that you want to tell and the response you want from the audience. But do not overdo it. Too many sub-plots can become confusing. Only use as many sub-plots as you can effectively handle.
- Character creation
A story is not only about the plot but also about the characters. The protagonist, the antagonist and all the supporting characters should be believable parts of your story world. The most memorable characters are the ones that the audience can relate with.
- Art of description
If you can describe your story in 140 words or less, it means that you have a clear idea of your story. Always try and describe what you have visualised in minimal words. Give details but leave enough scope for the director and the producer to understand the story in their own way and reach a conclusion. Do not spoon feed everything. No one likes to be treated as a child.
- End is more important than the beginning
A writer who knows how the story will end is always sure of how the entire story will behave. This allows you the freedom to express yourself and add sequences to the story. This gives you the right to experiment with your characters and scenes, and choose what is best for the audience and the story.
- First Draft is Never Final
This is the most important rule, yet the most ignored one. The first draft is never the final masterpiece. Once you right the first draft always get it read by one or two avid readers and get a feedback. Be open to constructive criticism. This way you can make changes that will suit the story and not hamper it.
Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., and all studios have always kept their focus on making animated films. But they never compromise on their story. Always remember, your written story must be visual enough to enable the reader to see the scenes in his/her mind’s eye. At the end of the day, good animation cannot help a bad story. However, a good story can stand on its own, irrespective of bad animation.