3 Lessons For Writing Timeless Stories – Toy Story Edition


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What makes Toy Story a timeless classic? In this short tutorial, I share three lessons to help you create stories that resonate – to infinity and beyond!


Lesson 1: The Premise Is Universal

Almost every child wonders, at some point, if their toys come to life when they leave the room.

When developing new story ideas, be careful not to overlook familiar subjects and situations.

Lesson 2: The Humor Is Universal

The humor is grounded in truth.

…but not the truth of our ephemeral pop culture.

The humor in Toy Story is grounded in the timeless truths that each character represents:

Woody’s Temper
Buzz Lightyear’s Hubris
Rex’s Insecurity
…and so on.

You can avoid shallow jokes when you infuse your story with humor that is vulnerable, personal and even embarrassingly honest.

Lesson 3: Woody’s Fear Is Universal

Woody helps us deal with our own darkest fears.

His primal motivation is the fear of being forgotten and replaced.

…a spiritual death of sorts.

When his relationship with Buzz evolves from resentment to mutual respect, we learn that true friendship is worth the struggle because it makes us a more present, vital and invested individual.

Whether you’re writing a gritty indie comic or family-friendly animation, confront your own darkest fears.

Use the story teach yourself a lesson and you’ll be more likely to inspire lasting, meaningful connections with and among your audience.

To learn more, join my Storytelling Course at ChrisOatley.com/Timeless/

Comment & Share!

To which Toy Story character do you most closely relate?