Walt Disney Studios story artist Brian Kesinger shared storytelling advice at depthRadius this week. It turns out that writers can learn a lot from the art of animation.

Watch the video embedded above for more. Check it out:

Research and details. We have a saying around work, “one shot; one story.” What that means is as an artist you have the power to control every detail within the frame. Especially in animation where you are starting with a blank page and you must decide how to fill it. What helps you decide what to put in there is whatever helps you tell your story. For instance lets say you wanted to paint a scene of a baker who has had lousy business. It’s a vey generic idea. But, first you could research what bakeries look like and pick out certain visual details that help show that he gets no business and perhaps even allude to why he gets no business. (Perhaps it is a pretty rundown bakery.) It is a continual layering of visual clues that supports the big idea translating into every shot of a movie on a microscopic level that you would not believe.

If you want more, read about what writers and publishers need to know about deviantART, a place where creators like Kesinger collaborate on all sorts of publishing and digital projects.

Full disclosure: I have written for deviantART in the past.