My son shared this web page on Imgur with me. This is really interesting. It talks about how Pixar tells a story. There are 22 rules, and all of them make sense.
(The link is here, if you can't click on the web page above: http://imgur.com/gallery/E8xe0)
For example, the first rule is: You admire a character more for trying than for their successes. Wow. That's true in just about every good story. Think about The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy didn't really succeed, but she really tried hard to get home. She did a lot of things in the meantime, like set the mean old witch straight and save a few new friends, but her goal was never truly reached. She didn't go home with the ruby slippers or all her friends, but just woke up. However, you admire her.
I like rule number seven: Come up with the ending before you figure out the middle. I do that. I know the ending...at least a working ending, before I write anything. I usually concentrate on the first scene and the ending, and then figure out how to connect the two parts.
There are some other great ideas in this list. You have to click at the bottom, before the comments, to see the entire list.
I could probably add a few more to the list, but these are great ideas to start with.
What do you think? Do you agree with the list?
Have a great week!