Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Character Change vs. Character Growth

Main characters don’t have to change to grow.  They can grow in their resolve. It is a common misconception among authors that the main character in a story must change in order to grow.  Certainly, that is one kind of … Continue reading

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Writing Prompt Level: Expert!

Here is a writing prompt picture I posted recently and the amazingly creative response by writer Bill Williams Bill Williams – This is actually pretty easy to explain. *sips coffee* The cats in the front are feline overlords. They were … Continue reading

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Smothered in an Avalanche of Ideas

One of the writers I coach recently wrote to me about getting drowned in a sea of ideas for his story, unable to organize his material, make choices, or more forward. Here is the note I wrote him in response … Continue reading

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A Brief Introduction to Archetypes – Part 3

Archetypes are the spine of any story, whether you use them in a monolithic manner or sculpt them into more complex variations.  Understanding archetypes will help you to ensure your structure is human and complete. In part 1 of this … Continue reading

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A Brief Introduction to Archetypes – Part 2

In my previous article, A Brief Introduction to Archetypes – Part 1, I defined what an archetype is, and what it is not.  Here in Part 2, we’re going to expand on that understanding by revealing where archetypes come from … Continue reading

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A Brief Introduction to Archetypes – Part 1

Writers and narrative theorists often speak of Archetypes.  When they do, Jung and Campbell and the Hero’s Journey quickly come to mind.  And yet, if pressed, most writers would admit they don’t really have a solid grip on what an … Continue reading

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Character Development Tricks!

Here are a few of my best tricks for creating characters from scratch and for developing characters you’ve already created. Coming up with characters is as simple as looking to our subject matter and asking ourselves who might be expected … Continue reading

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Characters and Gender

Perhaps the most fundamental error made by authors, whether novice or experienced, is that all their characters, male and female, tend to reflect the gender of the author. This is hardly surprising, since recent research indicates that men and women use … Continue reading

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Why Characters Misunderstand Each Other

This article was originally written as part of an early draft of our book on the Dramatica theory of narrative which but was never included.  It seeks to describe how characters come to misunderstand each other, and how this can lead to conflict. … Continue reading

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4 Writing Tips for Novelists

1. Novels Aren’t Stories A novel can be extremely free form. Some are simply narratives about a fictional experience. Others are a collection of several stories that may or may not be intertwined. Jerzy N. Kosinski (the author of “Being … Continue reading

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