Andrew Stanton of Pixar—writer of the "Toy Story" films, Oscar winner for "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E" and director of "John Carter"—shared his storytelling insights at a February, 2012 TED talk including "the greatest story commandment."
Before we get to the commandment, here are some of the talk's highlights:
1. Storytelling is joke-telling. It's knowing your punchline, knowing your ending, knowing that everything you say from start to finish is leading to a singular goal. Ideally it confirms some truth that deepens our understanding of who we are as human beings.
2. Stories affirm who we are. We all crave affirmation that our lives have meaning. There's no greater affirmation than connecting through stories. Stories allow us to experience the similarities among ourselves and through others, real and imagined.
3. "There isn't anyone you couldn't learn to love once you've heard their story."
4. Every good story at the beginning makes the audience a promise: that this story will lead somewhere that's worth your time. A well-told promise is like a rock pulled back in a slingshot that propels you forward through the story to the end.