#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
I saw this lovely post over on boing boing this week. Cory Doctorow condensed a number of favourite storytelling rules from the Twitter feed of Pixar story artist Emma Coates. I’m totally with him that some of these rules are fantastic, and in fact are phrased in a way I’ve never thought of. I love the one about coming up with a list of things that WOULDN’ T happen next in the story if you’re stuck trying to figure out what DOES happen next. I’m always telling writers that sometimes you have to write around something to get where you’re going, and this tactic is a great example of that.
The full list of rules can also be found here.