Category Archives: Message

The Four Throughlines in To Kill A Mockingbird

By Melanie Anne Phillips There are four throughlines that must be explored in every story for it to feel to readers or audience that the underlying issues¬†have been fully explored and the message fully supported. Objective Story Throughline: The Objective … Continue reading

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Story Development Tip: Message Reversals

Here’s a tip that can fascinate your readers or audience by setting them up to believe one thing, only to provide additional information that had been withheld and changes their loyalties once revealed. This technique can be seen very clearly … Continue reading

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Message Reversals

Message Reversals (Shifting Context to Change Message) When we shift context to create a different message , the structure remains the same, but our appreciation of it changes. This can be seen very clearly in a Twilight Zone episode entitled, … Continue reading

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Story Structure – Part 2 (Video)

Here’s a link to the next class in my 113 part series on story structure. In this episode, we explore how story structure came to be in the first place, beginning with the earliest storytellers and evolving into a linear, … Continue reading

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Narrative Space

“Narrative Space” describes the complete breadth and depth of subject matter in which you seek to define a story. Simply put, most authors don’t come to a story with a complete structure immediately in mind. ¬†Rather, they are attracted to … Continue reading

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Both Sides of the Thematic Argument

Every powerful theme pits a “Message Issue” against a “Counterpoint”, such as “Greed vs. Generosity”, or “Holding On To Hope” vs. “Abandoning Hope”. The Message Issue and Counterpoint define the thematic argument of your story. They play both sides of … Continue reading

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The Purpose of Stories

This is the purpose and function of story: to show that when something has previously served you well one hundred percent of the time, it may not continue to hold true, or conversely, that it will always hold true. Either … Continue reading

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