Before we get down to business, if you haven’t watched Inside Out, you totally should. It’s an amazing movie that elicits lots of laughs and tears, and also, if you’ve watched it, you’ll understand more of the things that I’m about to talk about.
There may be spoilers for the movie ahead (I’m not entirely sure if I will spoil anything, but better be safe than sorry).
Okay, so basically, Inside Out is a story about the personifications of our emotions – Anger, Fear, Joy, Sadness, and Disgust. All of these emotions live inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, dictating her actions and working for her well-being. But as Riley is uprooted from her small hometown and moved to San Francisco (and Sadness and Joy are sucked out of the command center, leaving Anger, Fear, and Disgust to run rampant), Riley’s thoughts, memories, and very personality start breaking down.
As a writer, I admire Inside Out’s storytelling. Writers can learn from Inside Out’s creativity. After all, have you ever thought about writing a story about anthropomorphic emotions? Inside Out gets extremely imaginative in how it portrays the inner workings of the mind. For example, the “train of thought” is an actual train that chugs around Riley’s brain. We can’t remember everything that ever happened to us – in Inside Out, those memories fall into a chasm where they are forgotton. Long-term memory is a maze-like place filled with strings of memories from times past.
Inside Out is risky. It takes on a strange concept and turns it into a colorful, imaginative, and memorable story. It could’ve easily fallen flat, but they went out on a limb and succeeded in their efforts. So why shouldn’t we, as fellow writers, do the same?
It’s so easy to want to play it safe. “Maybe this is too weird”. “I’m not sure how I’ll pull this off”. “No one will care about something this strange”. We tell ourselves these lies, when readers actually admire gumption. Something unusual can be an amazing story, if we just give it a chance.
I personally love personifications of places and things. I like picturing countries or states as people. And I adored the way Inside Out gave feelings personalities.
Sometimes, we think our ideas aren’t good enough and we look like this:
Our ideas may be zany, but we’ll never know if they work without trying. So get out there and brainstorm unusual ideas! Be creative! Perhaps something will just click, and you’ll look more like this:
It’s your turn! Have you seen Inside Out? Did you glean anything from it? What are some of your unusual, creative story ideas! Do tell!