The Clues to a Great Story
Spotlight Tools for Writers

The Clues to a Great Story

So I’m writing a novel. It only took me the first 52 years to make good on the promise I made myself when I was 7 (okay, so technically 45 after that, but who’s counting?), but I’m doing it, and I’m loving it. Along the way, I’ve been gathering the wisdom of elders. The nice thing about the internet is that it makes this really easy to do, picking up advice here, a tool there.

I’m about half way through my journey now, and found that while I still had the fire burning in my belly, more than when I started, I was finding it tougher to know how to move forward in a meaningful way. So I went back to the toolbox I’d been tossing things into on Pinterest, and found a few things to help me get back to the business of falling in love with the story all over again.

One of the things that was really helpful was Andrew Stanton’s TED Talk (above), and the simple pictogram that accompanied it: “The Clues to a Great Story”.

The Clues to a  Great Story
“The Clues to a Great Story” pictograph accompanying Andrew Stanton’s TED Talk.

Andrew Stanton was the Pixar writer and director behind Toy Story, WALL-E and John Carter, so it’s not much of a leap of faith to take what he says with absolute trust. It always wasn’t much of a surprise to find that he’s so darned funny, and poignant, and honest.

My writer friends will find the pictograph (and simple wisdom it contains) a help I think, and just about everyone is likely to find something endearing about his 19 minute chat at TED in 2012.


Adventure diva, geek, artist & storyteller. Practitioner of wishcraft. Cooks with visual soul pepper. (You had me at string theory ...)

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