Category Archives: Storytelling Tips

Storytelling Tip 8 of 50 – Flashbacks and Flash Forwards

Storytelling Tip 8 of 50 Flashbacks and Flash Forwards There is a big difference between flashbacks where a character reminisces and flashbacks that simply transport an audience to an earlier time. If the characters are aware of the time shift, it … Continue reading

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Storytelling Tip 6 of 50 – “Non-Causality”

Trick 6 Non-Causality (Out of Context Experiences) There is often a difference between what an audience expects and what logically must happen. A prime example occurs in the Laurel and Hardy film, The Music Box. Stan and Ollie are piano movers. … Continue reading

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Storytelling Tip 5 of 50 – “Building Importance”

Trick 5 Building Importance (Changing Impact) In this technique, things not only appear more or less important, but actually become so. This trick was a favorite of Hitchcock in such films as North By Northwest and in television series such as MacGyver. In an episode of The Twilight Zone, for … Continue reading

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Drop Exposition through Arguments

Here’s a short one… A person talking is often boring. People arguing are often compelling. If you have to drop exposition, try to do it in the back and forth barbs of an argument. Let the characters use the information … 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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There are Many Kinds of Endings

A character might change and resolve their personal angst, yet fail in their quest as a result. Was it worth it? Depends on the degree of angst and the size of the failure. Another character might not resolve their angst; … 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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Write from your character’s point of view

Perhaps the best way to instill real feelings in a character is to stand in his or her shoes and write from the character’s point of view. Unfortunately, this method also holds the greatest danger of undermining the meaning of … Continue reading

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Give each character a personal goal

Personal Goals are the motivating reasons your characters care about and/or participate in the effort to achieve or prevent the overall goal. In other words, they see the main story goal as a means to an end, not as an … Continue reading

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Revealing Your Story’s Personality

Your story’s genre is its overall personality. As with the people that you meet, first impressions are very important. In act one, you introduce your story to your reader/audience. The selection of elements you choose to initially employ will set … Continue reading

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