Pitching in Brief


My favorite episode in season seven of writing excuses was an episode on YA Contemporary Fiction. The information on YA was nice,but what I really got out of that episode was the way she pitches. It’s awesome. I’d describe it, but it’s better just to listen.

Another cool thing that I was exposed to this season were The Pixar Rules of Storytelling. Check them out. There was also a fantastic episode on figuring out what comes next in the story. The best thing I got out of it was to ask does what your character need to happen next to accomplish their goal happen, and then put it in this format.

Yes, but….

No, and…

I was trying to come up with examples for this, but I found a better one on this post.

Inigo Montoya wants to kill the six-fingered man.

Through many trials, he enters the castle.

Does he find the six-fingered man?

Yes, but four guards get in the way.

Does he defeat the guards?

Yes, but the six-fingered man runs away.

Inigo gives chase! Does he catch up?

No, and the six-fingered man has barred the door.

Fezzik busts the door and Inigio runs through. Does he catch up?

Yes, but he gets a throwing knife in the gut.

Can he regain his feet and continue?

Yes, but the six-fingered man has a sword at the ready.

Can Inigo defend himself?

Yes, but he gets stabbed in each shoulder.

The six-fingered man bargains for his life. Does Inigo overcome the temptation?

Yes, and he achieves his goal.

What ever the goal is, “yes, but / no, and” is a reminder to you to not allow it to be easy. Make things worse, and the journey will be more exciting, and the payoff sweeter in the end.

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