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Friday, October 4, 2013

Writing Tips from Pixar (and a contest reminder)

You may already be familiar with this, but a friend recently forwarded me Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling, and it was both a fun list to read through and wonderful food-for-thought in terms of story creation/revision. The two below are ones that really hit home for me~ click on the link when you have time for more!


#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different. 

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it (Jess Note: This has been my experience with every manuscript I've written. It's always during revision that I have an epiphany: "Ooooooh. So that's what this story is about"). Now rewrite. 

Upcoming Contest

Click HERE for early info on the next Secret Agent contest on Miss Snark's First Victim. It will be open to submissions on Monday, October 7.

This month's contest will include the following genres:
  • Young Adult (all genres)
  • Middle Grade (all genres)
  • New Adult (all genres)
  • Adult Commercial Fiction (including Romance)
Other News

My character development interview with The Real Boy author Anne Ursu is still in the cards and should happen within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here is Anne's blog tour schedule. Read the posts & enter the giveaways! This book is such a treasure!

Monday, 9/30 – Maria’s Melange - Maria’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Tuesday, 10/1 – There’s a Book - Danielle’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Wednesday, 10/2 – sharpread - Colby Interviews Anne
Thursday, 10/3 – Novel Sounds - Elena’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Friday, 10/4 – Word Spelunking - Aeicha Interviews Anne
Saturday, 10/5 – The Hiding Spot - Sara’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Sunday, 10/6 – The Brain Lair - Kathy’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Monday, 10/7 – Read, Write, Reflect - Anne Talks Oscar with Katherine
Tuesday, 10/8 – Librarian’s Quest - Margie’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Wednesday, 10/9 – Buried in Books - Heather’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Thursday, 10/10 – The Book Monsters - Kristen’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Friday, 10/11 – Cari’s Book Blog - Cari’s Take on The Real Boy + An Interview with Anne
Saturday, 10/12 – Unleashing Readers - Kellee Interviews Illustrator Erin McGuire
Sunday, 10/13 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Gina’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Monday, 10/14 – Heise Reads and Recommends - Editor Jordan Brown Interviews Anne
Tuesday, 10/15 – Bulldog Readers Blog - The Bulldog Readers Debut Their Book Trailer


  1. I always love the writing gems on your blog - thank you! I'm a huge Miss Snark Secret Agent fan and have already had many good things come of it. I'm gearing up for her Baker's Dozen contest!

  2. I saw that list somewhere, but I don't remember being very impressed with it. I don't remember why.

  3. Lovely! I just finished my MFA in creative writing, so I'm loving all the writing tips on your blog. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thanks for highlighting those Pixar rules -- good things to remember!

  5. I too have written stories and only realised what they were really about when I got close to finishing.

  6. I didn't know MSFV SA contest included NA this time. Tweeting this.

  7. Love the Pixar list! Great advice from the makers of the coolest cartoons ever (or do they wish to be called 'animated movies? :) )

  8. I saw the Pixar list somewhere too. Thanks for the blog tour and contest info.

  9. Enjoyed the link. #8, #9, and #14 are my favorite.

    1. Good ones! #9 is so creative and I'll have to try it!

  10. I'm familiar with the Pixar rules but a refresher won't hurt.
    Thanks for the links and the contest (another one to put on my 2013 calendar).


    1. that was supposed to say 2014. lol