Writing Wins from Star Wars: Visions

Star Wars: Visions is one of the coolest ideas the Star Wars franchise has ever come up with. It allows people all across the world to make Star Wars their own while showcasing their talents to a huge audience—how amazing is that?

I liked the first season of Visions, but not enough to write anything about it. This second season, though…almost every single episode blew me away. So naturally, being me, I started thinking about the writing behind what makes these short films so good, and I think I’ve come up with a few common denominators that we can use to make our own short stories memorable and extraordinary:

Showcase Your Style

Every single Visions short is incredibly different—in animation style, in characters, in themes, and in writing. This is one of the aspects that makes them incredible; they feel personal. When each short is over, you feel like you know a bit about the people who put the story together.

This is how you make your story different from all the rest: you. If you don’t put yourself in the story (figuratively, not literally), what makes it stand out from every other book in your genre? Different characters? A unique plot twist? Those are great, but they won’t come to life and resonate with your readers until you truly put your heart and soul into your story.

Let your style shine in your story. You are unique, and that makes your story unique.

Expected Plot Twists Aren’t Bad

Nearly every Visions story had some sort of a twist. Many were predictable and some were genuine surprises. But actually, I didn’t love the stories with the predictable twists any less. Plot twists are fun, but they can be overdone and even unrealistic sometimes. It can be more fun to give your audience the pieces to solve the puzzle and let them figure it out just before the characters. It’s still satisfying, and as long as it adds to the story and isn’t just done for “shock factor,” it still enhances the audience’s experience.

So if your story doesn’t have a massive plot twist, that’s okay. Not every story should. A good story can speak for itself without needing an earth-shattering surprise.

Good Characters > Cool Plot

I would like to thank all the studios who participated in Visions for proving one of my number one points about writing: good characters are necessary for a good story. They communicate the theme, shape the plot (at least they should), and appeal to the audience. Without characters, you can have everything else—yes, even a theme—and the readers will not care because there’s no one for them to care about, to invest in.

Every single Visions story was character-focused; yes, they all introduced their own unique Star Wars concepts, but they didn’t let that aspect take over. They created good, multi-faceted characters that could grow in the span of a short story and let them shine. 

And this is truly the main thing that made this season’s stories stand out so much. The characters were marvellously crafted and wonderfully unique, and the writers were able to take them on a compelling journey in a short amount of time.

As you write your story, remember that characters are key. They are what will reach your audience’s hearts. 

What have you watched recently that taught you about writing? Let me know in the comments! And remember, if you need help with any of these aspects in your story, check out my feedback and coaching services!

Happy writing!

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Photo by Andrew Santellan on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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