Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Storytelling and Cognitive Modeling

Recently, an associate suggested a tie-in between cognitive modeling of cultural storytelling preferences and Dramatica that might, someday, provide guidelines for “writing the next Star Wars.” This, for me, opened the whole discussion regarding the relationship between story structure and … Continue reading

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The StoryWeaver Method – Step 1

StoryWeaver is a step by step approach to developing your novel or screenplay. StoryWeaver will help you create your story’s world, who’s in it, what happens to them, and what it all means. In this first step, we look ahead … Continue reading

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The DNA of Story Structure

Narrative structure has, at its core, a code not unlike that of DNA. We first documented a model of this DNA of story in our 1994 book, Dramatica: A New Theory of Story, concurrent with the release of our Dramatica … Continue reading

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How to Motivate Your Main Character

You know, my partner Chris Huntley oft has said that the best way to rob a main character of motivation is to give him what he wants.  If you fill his need, he has no reason to go off and … Continue reading

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How to Structure Your Story’s Signposts

First let me define what signposts are in stories and then provide a few hints on how to structure them. Signposts are the markers that separate one act from another.  Think about any well structured story you’ve read or seen … Continue reading

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Story Structure Help for the Ukraine

A writer in the Ukraine recently wrote me with some questions about the Dramatica theory of narrative structure.  First, his questions (indented) and then my answers below each. Hello! I’m a big “Dramatica” fan from Ukraine! Recently I was struggling … Continue reading

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The Impact of Stories

Stories, especially those told in the media of film or television, can have a tremendous impact on an audience. Experiencing a story is similar in many ways to experiencing events in “real life”. Stories can make us laugh or cry, … Continue reading

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