The plot embryo method really is magic - but there’s a lot of nuance to be found in it as well.

Even though I regularly teach people how to use it more effectively, I STILL learn new ways to bring stories to life with it.

It’s the method that just keeps on giving.

And I learned a lot while using it to fix up Pixar’s Brave in the two Plot With Me videos below.

Whether you’re a plot embryo veteran, or just interested in trying it out someday, I guarantee you will gain valuable insights from these videos which will help you with your own stories…

story magic academy rachael stephen plot embryo

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The Completed Plot Embryos

Here are the two finished plot embryos I came up with over the course of these videos! The fruits of my labour! My labourfruit!

Merida's Plot Embryo from Pixar's Brave
Elinor's Plot Embryo from Pixar's Brave

The Working

Though the plot embryo is a gracefully complex, nuanced system - my method for using it is remarkably simple. Every time I come up against something I don’t know, I brainstorm. Rinse and repeat.

Here is every drop of brainstorming I did during this Plot With Me. For creating plot embryos, I generally use the Five Ideas method, so that’s what you see here.

The Summary I started with (from IMDB)

Pixar's Brave plot summary
summary 2.png

These are the notes I made while watching the movie to prepare for this Plot With Me

Pixar's Brave plot problems
Pixar's Brave plot problems
Pixar's Brave plot problems

I began by brainstorming the theme of the story

Which is contained in the internal quadrants (QB on the right, QA on the left), representing what the protagonist believes before and after their change of heart.

Theme of Pixar's Brave
Theme of Pixar's Brave

Then I used the theme I’d decided on to work on Merida’s change of heart at plot point 5

Princess Merida's character arc
Princess Merida's character arc

Realising I wanted to keep the Legend as a part of Merida’s arc, I started to work on that…

the legend from Brave

And then I continued brainstorming to fill in the gaps in the story…

Elinor turns into a bear
legends are lessons Brave (2012)
legends are lessons Brave (2012)

And that’s your lot!

I hope you found it helpful, cinnamon bun.

If you have any questions, comments, or a movie or video game you’d like me to fix in a future Plot With Me, head over and leave a comment on the video!

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