Storytelling Advice: Make Me Care

(Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.)

This is a Ted talk Andrew Stanton gave in 2012. I think it’s an essential view for any writer. Note that there is a poopy word at the beginning of this video.

One of the first points he makes is that a story should make you care. This is what I personally want most in a story. Make. Me. Care.

This is why I don’t go for big dumb boring action movies. You know the type: huge explosions, interchangeable “good guy” with a gun, indistinguishable love interest, and cookie cutter bad guy. Why should I waste my time and money in a world where I don’t care about the outcome?

He makes a few other points in the talk that I’ve cribbed from one of the commenters:

– A story should start off with a well-told “promise”, like a hook or sales pitch

– A story should give the audience the “2+2”, not the “4”

– Characters should have “spines” & itches they’re always trying to scratch

– Change is fundamental; life is never static

– “Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty”

– Know your rules and know when to break them

– Strong unifying theme

– Sense of wonder

Bottom line. Check out this video.