Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Characters Have Two Jobs

Characters have two jobs. One, they must respond as real people so we can identify with them. Two, they must function as part of your plot to they contribute to the message. Characters who don’t ring true drop your readers … 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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Free Storytelling Tips eBook

Here’s this week’s free eBook from Storymind. Download in PDF and discover 50 tips, tricks, and techniques to make your storytelling pop!

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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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Plot Points vs. Plot Events

Some time ago I wrote an article explaining how plot wasn’t the order in which events appeared in a story, but the order in which they happened to the characters.  Still, how you reveal what happened to the characters can … Continue reading

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Characters: What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name?  Choosing names for your characters can be perfunctory or can provide your readers or audience with insight into your characters’ natures, add humor or surprise, or even at the very least break out of ordinary monikers … Continue reading

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Change is Good (or maybe bad)

At the core of a story’s message is a very simple issue – whether the author is telling us it is better to be like the main character or not.  This is usually thought of as the moral of the story and … Continue reading

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Letting Go of Characters

Over the course of the story, your reader/audience has come to know your characters and to feel for them. The story doesn’t end when your characters and their relationships reach a climax. Rather, the reader/audience will want to know the … Continue reading

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Story Structure Seen As War

Imagine a story’s structure as a war and the Main Character as a soldier making his way across the field of battle.  In your mind’s eye, you likely see they whole scene spread out in front of you, as if … Continue reading

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Throughlines – And How to Use Them!

Some time ago I wrote an article that described the difference between the two basic forms of story structure with the following phrase: You spin a tale, but you weave a story. The common expression “spinning a yarn” conjures up … Continue reading

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