Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Novels Aren’t Stories

A novel does not have to be a story.  It can just be extremely free forms, such as in Virginia Woolf’s books where the entire narrative is a single subjective stream of consciousness. Other narratives e are simply explorations of … Continue reading

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Be Your Own Critic Without Being Critical

Be your own critic without being critical Here’s how: First write a single descriptive sentence. Now look at that sentence not as an author, but as a reader or critic.  You can see what’s there, but what’s not there? To … Continue reading

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You Got Me! (Both Of Us!)

Arthur says: I’m a great Dramatica fan so I’m a bit reluctant to take up Melanie’s challenge to refute the Dramatica Theory. My question was virtually identical to Armando’s but he put it better. Theory without practical application is not … Continue reading

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Writing With Reversals

Reversals change the meaning of something by changing the context. In other words, part of the meaning of anything we consider is due to its environment. In storytelling, we can add surprise to a story by leading the reader or … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Workshop – Create Log Lines for Your Characters

Welcome to our new series designed to focus on one practical way to improve your story each weekend. This week, try coming up with a log line for each of your characters. A log line is a one-sentence description of … Continue reading

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How to Create a Powerful Thematic Message

Your thematic message (moral of the story) has two sides: the Point and the Counterpoint. The Point is the human quality under examination in your story (such as greed) and the Counterpoint is the opposite trait (such as Generosity), presented … Continue reading

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Character Likes and Dislikes

“Snakes… Why did it have to be snakes….???” What a character likes and dislikes takes the curse of its larger than life stature. Whether you are writing a novel, play, screenplay, or teleplay, your characters loom in the hearts and … Continue reading

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The Hero Breaks Down

Groucho Marx once said, “You’re headed for a nervous breakdown. Why don’t you pull yourself to pieces?” That, in fact, is what we’re going to do to our hero. Now many writers focus on a Hero and a Villain as … Continue reading

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How To Create Archetypal Characters

Archetypal characters have a bad name.  Many writers think such characters are two-dimensional stick figures that come off more like plot robots than real people.  But the truth is that archetypes represent essential human qualities that need to be explored … Continue reading

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StoryWeaving – Getting Started

Step 2 from the more than 200 steps in our StoryWeaver Story Development Software: Getting Started How to get started? It’s easy as 1, 2, 3… 1. Read the instructions on each Story Card (like this one). Sometimes the Story … Continue reading

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