An easy method from the famed studio to make sure your story checks out.
Here is a great article by Comics writer Michael Moreci (Roche Limit, Hoax Hunters, Curse, Burning Fields, Transference, ReincarNATE) about storytelling.
In the article, Mister Moreci shares some of the Pixar storytelling magic with us mere mortals.
According to Pixar, every story can be broken down, from beginning to end, as following this sequence of events:
1.Once upon a time there was
2. Every day
3. One day
4. Because of that
5. Because of THAT
6. Until finally
I actually knew that formula from Improv !
Back in France, when I got into Improvisational Theater, we would sometimes use similar prompts as a way of improvising stories. Though the content was still improvised, the structure itself would provide a skeleton for your story to pile the meat on.
I have had a lot of fun breaking down my stories in this fashion. Go ahead and try it. It will give a sense of clarity and purpose to your story which will help shaping your outline. It will also shed light on potential plot holes and problems in your structure AND force you to be quite concise.
Read the rest of the article to see him apply the Pixar method to the recent blockbuster “Mad Max: Fury Road” to somewhat surprising effect.