Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A writing lesson from Monsters Inc.

If you haven't watched Disney/Pixar's Monsters Inc. yet, you might want to go do that before you read this post. Go on, I'll wait.

In Monsters Inc., the scary beings that live in closets and under the bed really do exist. But they don't walk around scaring kids for the fun of it. The energy of screams is used to power their city. In recent times, children are becoming less and less frightened, and so everyone is worried about the future of energy. (Seriously how does Pixar do these films with deeper meanings like that?)

One day, a little girl accidentally slips into the monsters' city. Hilariously, they are more afraid of her than she of them, thinking that she's a contamination. Her being in the city brings about an incredible discovery. She laughs and everything shortcircuits. The monsters have never seen anything like it.

How's that for a writing lesson?

Remember that old school thought that people had to be Drunk, Drugged, or Depressed to write? We don't take it that far these days, but we do bend ourselves over backwards sometimes. At the end of the day,  if you're sadt, don't think it's your only option for generating a result.

In the same way that the power grid couldn't handle the little girl's laughter, there is tremendous energy in our happiness. If things are hard, take a break. Do something you really enjoy. Your writing won't suffer for you being happy. According to Sully, the main character in Monsters Inc., "Laughter is ten times more powerful than Scream."

Go ahead. Enjoy yourself. I dare you.

This post was inspired by a post by Elana Johnson. SURRENDER, the second book in her dystopian series, will be out soon.

1 comment:

Matthew MacNish said...

What a great point. That movie includes such great storytelling.