It’s the little things, really December 14, 2016 – Posted in: Uncategorized

I’m convinced studying Pixar is something every storyteller should do, regardless of how one tells a story. The attention to detail in all of that company’s final products is staggering. For example, watch the first couple minutes of Wall-E and just look at everything in the background. Everything there tells the entire backstory, as well as preps viewers for things to come. We see piles of garbage, mega ads showing the decay of the planet, the over commercialization of everything, hints of the massively overweight people to come, etc. Sure, the story would be relatively unchanged with a more generic backdrop or billboards, but it wouldn’t be as awesome.

Another example, and still from Pixar, comes from The Incredibles. A good way into the movie, Syndrome has Mr. Incredible captured and is in awe about how Mr. Incredible thwarted his first attempt to kill him by hiding behind the body of a fallen hero. In this brief bit of praise, the bad guy issues this great one liner: “You know, I was right to idolize you?”

This isn’t a throwaway line. It’s perfectly sums up not only Syndrome’s narcissistic personality, but also the relationship between Syndrome and Mr. Incredible thus far. Again, it’s the little things that make a story stand out.

As long as I’m on movies, think of any that has withstood the test of time, from The Princess Bride to Aliens to Forrest Gump. At the most basic level, the stories aren’t terribly unique (there’s only 7 or so stories to tell anyway, right?) but it’s all the little things that keep adding up to form one great ball of awesome.
So if you’re reading this and are crafting a story, be it a book, movie, game, whatever, spend time on the little things. Lots and lots of time on them.