Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Tear Your Story Apart

By necessity, authors are so focused on what they are putting into their stories that they often don’t think about what isn’t there.  Yet the early stages of story development only create a framework – a skeleton – and for … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Story Development | Comments Off on Tear Your Story Apart

Writing Stories with a Collective Goal

Some novice writers become so wrapped up in interesting events and bits of action that they forget to have a central unifying goal that gives purpose to all the other events that take place.  This creates a plot without a … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Plot | Comments Off on Writing Stories with a Collective Goal

What Drives Your Main Character?

A story begins when the Main Character is stuck up in the highest level of justification. Nobody gets there because they are stupid or mean. They get there because their unique life experience has brought them repeated exposures to what … Continue reading

Posted in Characters | Comments Off on What Drives Your Main Character?

The Master Storyteller Method

Perhaps the greatest hurdle in writing is the attempt to bring structure to a story without putting your Muse in a straight jacket. Often structure is brought into the picture too soon, clamping your passion into an iron maiden that … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing, Featured Articles, Novel Writing, Story Development | Comments Off on The Master Storyteller Method

Don’t Be Afraid of Story Structure

Our monthly ad for our all new version 4 StoryWeaver Story Development Software Get 25% off with coupon code sw25 You really ought to give it a spin. Try it risk-free for 90 days and if it isn’t for you, … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on Don’t Be Afraid of Story Structure

Have Your Characters Write Their Own Life Stories

For your characters to be compelling, your readers will need to think of them as real people, not just dramatic functionaries or collections of traits. To help make this happen, have each of your characters write a short one-page autobiographical … Continue reading

Posted in Building Characters, Creative Writing, Novel Writing, Practical Tips | Comments Off on Have Your Characters Write Their Own Life Stories

Use Nicknames to Enrich Your Characters

Nicknames are wonderful dramatic devices because they can work with the character’s apparent physical nature or personality, work against it for humiliating or comedic effect, play into the plot by telegraphing the activities in which the character will engage, create … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Writing | Comments Off on Use Nicknames to Enrich Your Characters

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

Posted in Creative Writing | Comments Off on Novels Aren’t Stories

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

Posted in Creative Writing | Comments Off on Be Your Own Critic Without Being Critical

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

Posted in Dramatica | Comments Off on You Got Me! (Both Of Us!)