Monday Master Class: Glen Keane On Inhabiting Your Characters


Introducing a new feature to my blog: Master Class Monday

Every Monday, I’m going to share some of the writing tips I’ve collected (and I’ve collected lots) from various masters in their craft. This week, I want to introduce you to Disney animator Glen Keane.

Glen may use pictures instead of words to tell his story, but the key thing here is he tells a story. Watch the video below for some insight into his thought process:

Something Mr. Keane said that really stayed with me from that video was this:

“I would draw – not to do a drawing – but so that I could step in and live in that world.”

Isn’t that why we all write? We tell the stories we want to read. We create the worlds we want to roam. And if we do our jobs right, with attention to details in our world and with full knowledge of our characters and what they yearn for and how they persevere – then our readers want to step in and live in that world with us.

I’ll close this with one of my all-time favorite masterpieces in short animation: Glen Keane’s “Duet”

It’s the simplest of stories, but that’s what makes it completely and utterly perfect.

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