Category Archives: Featured Articles

Never Be Stuck for a Plot Again!

A writer asked today: Dear Melanie, Could you please tell me where can I find some material on western genre plot building. Let me make it much clearer. I have a character Marshal, A saloon girl, Rancher, Preacher, Blacksmith and … Continue reading

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Write Your Novel Step by Step (2) – “Get Out of My Head!”

When beginning a new novel, writers are often faced with one of two initial problems that hinders them right from the get go.  One – sometimes you have a story concept but can’t think of what to do with it. … Continue reading

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Characters – The Attributes of Age

Introduction Writers tend to create characters that are more or less the same age as themselves. On the one hand, this follows the old adage that one should write about what one knows. But in real life, we encounter people … Continue reading

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How to Avoid the “Genre Trap”

A common misconception sees genre as a fixed list of dramatic requirements or a rigid structural template from which there can be no deviation. Writers laboring under these restrictions often find themselves boxed-in creatively. They become snared in the Genre … Continue reading

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Writing with Red Herrings

Excerpted from: 50 Sure-Fire Storytelling Tricks! By Melanie Anne Phillips Available in Paperback and for Kindle   The old expression, “A Red Herring,” means something that is intentionally misleading. In screenplays, a red herring is a scene, which is set up … Continue reading

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Top Ten Screenwriting Tricks!

Trick 1 Screenwriting 101 Screenplays are blueprints for movies. As such, they are not art, but instructions for creating art. Therefore, there are two things every great screenplay must have: A good story, and a clear and understandable description of how … Continue reading

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Get Into Your Characters’ Heads!

One of the most powerful opportunities of the novel format is the ability to describe what a character is thinking. In movies or stage plays (with exceptions) you must show what the character is thinking through action and/or dialog. But … Continue reading

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