Category Archives: Storyweaving Tips

How “StoryWeaver” Came to Be

When Chris Huntley and I created the Dramatica Theory of Narrative Structure back in the early 90’s, we originally envisioned it as the end-all of story models – the one single paradigm that explained it all. In fact, it was – but only in regard to the mechanics of stories.

Although Dramatica proved amazingly popular, and the Dramatica software we designed (along with Steve Greenfield) became the best selling story structure tool ever created, I began to feel there was something missing.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) its power, depth, and accuracy Dramatica required a huge learning curve. What’s more, though writers could intuitively tune in to its truth and vision it somehow left the user cold in a passionate or creative sense.

To compensate for these issues, we eventually carried the software through three complete major versions, each seeking to make the story development process more involving and accessible. After considering the last of these efforts, I came to realize that there was only so far you could go in an attempt to turn a logical model of story structure into a warm fuzzy teddy bear of inspiration.

So began a personal eight-year journey on my part to connect with that other “touchy-feely” side of story development. What I wanted was simple – the passionate counterpart to Dramatica: a simple, easy to follow, step-by-step approach to story development that goosed the Muse and never required an author to deal directly with theory or to drop out of creative mode in order to make logistic choices. In short, I wanted to create a means by which writing would become fun, easy, powerful, and meaningful and still hold true to the structural insights of the Dramatica Theory.

The result was a whole new system of writing which I called “StoryWeaving.” StoryWeaving is just what it sounds like: the process of weaving together a story. Picture an author in front of a loom, drawing on threads of structure and passion, pulling them together into something that will ultimately be both moving and meaningful, that will capture human emotion and present it in a pattern that makes logical sense.

Authors work best not when they simply let themselves go in an aimless fashion, nor when they adhere to a strict framework of structural imperatives, but rather, they maximize the fruits of their talents when they are free to move through both worlds on a whim, drawing on such elements of structure and passion as play across their minds at any given moment.

Having devised a method of assisting authors in embracing this freedom, I designed the StoryWeaver software to transform the concept into a practical tool. Within the first year of its release, StoryWeaver came to outsell Dramatica on my online store by a margin of six to one, and outsold all other products that I carry combined!

Still, as simple and straightforward as StoryWeaver is to use, many authors craved additional details about various StoryWeaving concepts. To include that degree of depth in the software would bog down the process. So, I began a series of StoryWeaving Tips to elucidate on particular areas of interest, and to enhance the StoryWeaving path with small excursions onto creative side-streets.

This web site is a compilation of the complete collection of all of these creative writing tips to date, mixed in with tips for story structure as well.

I leave you to explore these new worlds on your own.

Melanie Anne Phillips


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 end itself.

Although a personal goal for each character is not absolutely essential, at some point your audience or readers are going to wonder what is driving each character to brave the trials and obstacles. If you haven’t supplied a believable motivation, it will stand out as a story hole.

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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 the mood for all that follows. They can also be misleading, and you can use this to your advantage.

You may be working with a standard genre, or trying something new. But it often helps involve your reader/audience if you start with the familiar. In this way, those experiencing your story are eased out of the real world and into the one you have constructed. So, in the first act, you many want to establish a few touch points the reader/audience can hang its hat on.

As we get to know people a little better, our initial impression of the “type” of person they are begins to slowly alter, making them a little more of an individual and a little less of a stereotype. To this end, as the first act progresses, you may want to hint at a few attributes or elements of your story’s personality that begin to drift from the norm.

By the end of the first act, you should have dropped enough elements to give your story a general personality type and also to indicate that a deeper personality waits to be revealed.

As a side note, this deeper personality may in fact be the true personality of your story, hidden behind the first impressions.

Write your Novel or Screenplay Step by Step with StoryWeaver

Achieve Perfect Story Structure with Dramatica

Be a Story Weaver (Part 3)

Excerpted from the book,

Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Story Structure for Passionate Writers

We all know that a story needs a sound structure. But no one reads a book or goes to a movie to enjoy a good structure. And no author writes because he or she is driven to create a great structure. Rather, audiences and authors come to opposite sides of a story because of their passions – the author driven to express his or hers, and the audience hoping to ignite its own.

What draws us to a story in the first place is our attraction to the subject matter and the style. As an audience, we might be intrigued by the potential applications of a new discovery of science, the exploration of a newly rediscovered ancient city, or the life of a celebrity. We might love a taut mystery, a fulfilling romance, or a chilling horror story.

As authors what inspires us to write a story may be a bit of dialog we heard in a restaurant, a notion for a character, a setting, time period, or a clever twist of plot we’d like to explore. Or, we might have a deep-seated need to express a childhood experience, work out an irrational fear, or make a public statement about a social injustice.

No matter what our attraction as audience or author, our passions trigger our imaginations. So why should an author worry about structure? Because passion rides on structure, and if the structure is flawed or even broken, then the passionate expression from author to audience will fail.

Structure, when created properly, is invisible, serving only as the carrier wave that delivers the passion to the audience. But when structure is flawed, it adds static to the flow of emotion, breaking up and possibly scrambling the passion so badly that the audience does not “hear” the author’s message.

The attempt to ensure a sound structure is an intellectual pursuit. Questions such as “Who is my Protagonist?” “Where should my story begin?” “What happens in Act Two?” or “What is my message?” force an author to turn away from his or her passion and embrace logistics instead.

As a result, authors often becomes mired in the nuts and bolts of storytelling, staring at a blank page not because of a lack of inspiration, but because they can’t figure out how to make their passions make sense.

Worse, the re-writing process is often grueling and frustrating, forcing the author to accept unwanted changes in the flow of emotion for the sake of logic. So what is an author to do? Is there any way out of this dilemma?

Absolutely! In fact, part 4 of this series of excepts from the book provides one method of breaking that logjam to get things flowing again.

Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Available in Paperback and on Kindle


Also available:

This article was inspired by  our StoryWeaver Step-by-Step Story Development Software that guides you through more than 200 interactive Story Cards from concept to completion of your novel or screenplay.  Just $29.95 for Windows or Macintosh.

Click here for details, demo, or to purchase.

Be a Story Weaver (Part 2)

Excerpted from the book,

Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Writing from the Passionate Self

Who are you, really? Do you even know? Or do you just think you know?

At the center of our beings, at the heart of our souls, can be found the truth of our identity: our compassion, our anger, the breeding ground of the very stuff that makes us love and hate.

Yet, though a lifetime of compromise in the attempt to garner approval and avoid rejection, most of us have hidden the true nature of ourselves so far behind the shield of a pseudo persona that we are no longer privy to the essence of our own selves.

Unable to tap directly into the firestorm of our Id, we live on second hand passions and pass them off in what we write as the gritty truth of personal reality. A writer can survive a career without ever becoming aware of his or her true essence.

What might you write if you became aware of your Passionate Self, and could tap into the primal force of your psyche?

The issue then becomes the effort to mount an inner expedition to the darkest reaches of your mind. It is dangerous territory. You may very well lose your sense of self in the process, discover you are a completely different person than you thought, and this knowledge may ultimately cost you your relationships, family, friends, job, and even your own peace of mind.

You don’t need to tap this cauldron of angst and elation in order to write interesting stories that captivate others. But as a writer, wouldn’t you like to be able to access it?

Let’s examine how and why we hide ourselves and then outline a method for recovering our first nature from the labyrinth of our second.

It all goes back to your childhood. You came from a loving, caring family, or from an antagonist family where you were always afraid of punishment, or were just ignored. Sure, there are many variations, but they all lead to the same syndrome.

If we are raised in a loving household, we learn compassion and empathy, and come to want to please others, even if it is at our own expense. Usually, we are accepted as ourselves in such a household, but when we arrive at pre-school or kindergarten, suddenly we are confronted by those who make fun of us because of inherent qualities that are expressions of our true selves. We quickly learn that to avoid displeasing others and to get the same kindness we have at home, we must hide certain traits and pretend to possess others. In short order, we establish a pseudo personality that no longer reflects ourselves, but reflects as nearly as possible the mean average of what we feel others would prefer us to be.

If we are raised in an angry recriminating household, we learn to hide any trait that could bring punishment or ridicule, and also create a mask we can wear to avoid pain and enhance pleasure. If we are just ignored as children, we invent an ersatz persona to attract attention, and/or as an attempt to make ourselves noteworthy.

It is almost an inevitable human endeavor.

As we grow, the mask must become more complex. We add to it whenever a new situation arises. We look to see how others act so we will know what to do in similar situations.

Slowly, we come to realize that it hurts not to express our true selves. And then we do one of two things: We break out of the mask and let it all hang out in a teenage rebellion, or we learn to stop looking inside at the real us, so that we don’t suffer the pain of suppression.

Even those who rebel, may later compromise their inner integrity to advance in a career, impress peers, or justify a lack of success to themselves. Very few of us reach full adulthood still knowing who we really are.

In most cases, we hide our true natures away from ourselves for so long that we forget how to find ourselves – we forget who we were, and have no idea who we have become down there in the darkness.

Our true selves are like ROM chips on a computer. They are preprogrammed with the essential elements of our personalities, and they are designed to load specific portions of that programming into our minds at various junctures, such as when we learn to walk, the onset of puberty, the arrival at childbearing age.

Our minds are like RAM in a computer. Into our minds we load our experiences. They sit on top of the ROM personality that has been loaded. In a sense, experiences are the data that is crunched by the personality program from our ROM.

But when you create a pseudo persona, you fill up RAM with another program. You create protected memory where nothing else can be loaded. And so, as you grow, the ROM personality tries to load, but sees that there isn’t enough space, and aborts the operation to try again at a later time.

As our minds expand with growth, there would be enough room for the ROM, but we also expand our personas so that there is never enough room. So our ROM personalities – our true personalities – can never load. And we become stunted in our emotions; never advancing past the development of the year we first invented our mask. And our true selves, hidden deeply in the ROM, remain only a potential, not an actualized self.

We meet a mate, we get married, we have children, we advance in our careers, and all with people responding to our personas, not to the true selves, which have never been realized, even to ourselves.

So the mate we attract is one who loves the false us. The children we raise associate love and comfort with a fake person who is not us. And they support that image with their holiday gifts, secret glances, and tender moments.

It becomes a web of lies from which we dare not attempt to escape lest we lose the love and respect of others when we reveal our actual essence and expose the person they thought they knew to be no more than a sham.

But you are a writer. And as a writer, you peddle emotions. And if you are a worthwhile writer, you want your wares to be honest and true. Yet how can they be, if you aren’t true to yourself?

If you are game then, how can you discover that inner person? Simply put, you have to pass through pain. You will need to come to feel the lack of all of your ROM programming. You will need to see your everyday self as a lie. You will explore the pain until you can stand it no more. And when you are ready, you will take a leap of faith and dump your RAM persona by unprotecting its files – files you have spent a lifetime building. When you do, the ROM will notice. It will rush in and overwrite your false self with all the past due sections of your self that should have been loaded along the way. And in one electric moment you will feel your old self vanish as if you had been exorcised, then feel perhaps a second or two of emptiness, followed by the force of your embryonic actual self-rushing in to fill the void.

You will then realize that the old files are gone. You cannot recover them, no matter how much you may want to. You make the leap of faith and there is no going back – ever. You cannot even rebuild them. You would have to start all over from scratch, and there probably isn’t enough lifetime left to do that.

But the consequences! You are now a different being, a more vibrant being, a creature of foundational power that we all have the potential to experience. So will your loved ones, and those you depend on find you acceptable and embrace the “New You,” or will they recoil, feel betrayed, abandoned, and perhaps mourn the loss of the person they thought they knew through all the seven stages of grief?

No one can predict the response of others, but positive or negative there will be a response from everyone you encounter once you have crossed to the other side?

If you are willing to take this risk, how to you get to that magic moment when you can shift over to a new reality? Through your writing: you need to keep a personal journal. You need to express your deepest thoughts and feelings in it daily.

My personal journal has sometimes resulted in 17 typewritten pages in a single day. More often, it amounts to a page or two. There have been years when I kept no journal at all. But I have always found that when I do keep a journal, angst is discovered become one with, and evaporated – eventually.

Usually, this major sea-change occurs in a time of extreme mental pressure – loss of a business or a loved one, or some impending change of lifestyle, situation, or relationship that rocks the very foundations of your soul.

These are the times to keep a journal without fail. The words you write will help you work it through, keep you sane, and in time reveal the actual issues that drive you.

Still, you don’t have to take that path. You can content yourself with the comfortable life you have fashioned around your pseudo self, and continue to write intriguing stories populated by compelling characters engaged in riveting action. You may find that sufficient. You may, even after all of this, believe that is all there is, “as good as it gets.” But what if there is something powerful within you – something basic and honest and true. Are you prepared to go to your death bed never knowing who you really are?

Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Available in Paperback and on Kindle


Also available:

This article was inspired by  our StoryWeaver Step-by-Step Story Development Software that guides you through more than 200 interactive Story Cards from concept to completion of your novel or screenplay.  Just $29.95 for Windows or Macintosh.

Click here for details, demo, or to purchase.

Be a Story Weaver (Part 1)

Excerpted from the book,

Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Too many writers fall into the trap of making Structure their Story God. There’s no denying that structure is important, but paying too much attention to structure can destroy your story.

We have all seen movies and read novels that feel like “paint by numbers” creations. Sure, they hit all the marks and cover all the expected relationships, but they seem stilted, uninspired, contrived, and lifeless.

The authors of such pedestrian fare are Story Mechanics. A Story Mechanic is a writer who constructs a story as if it were a machine. Starting with a blueprint, the writer gathers the necessary dramatic components, assembles the gears and pulleys, tightens all the structural nuts and bolts, and then tries to make the story interesting with a fancy paint job.

But there is another kind of writer who creates a different kind of story. These Story Weavers begin with subjects or concepts about which they are passionate and let the structure suggest itself from the material. They see their players as people before they consider them as characters. Events are happenings before they become plot. Values precede theme and the story develops a world before it develops a genre.

A book or movie written by a Story Weaver is involving, riveting, and compelling. It captures the fullness of human emotion, and captivates the mind.

Although some writers are natural born StoryWeavers, there is still hope for the rest of us. In fact, you can become a StoryWeaver just by practicing a few select techniques until they become second nature.

First, clear your mind of any thoughts about characters, plot, theme, and genre. Avoid any consideration of character arc, hero’s journey, acts, scenes, sequences, beats, messages, premises, settings, atmosphere, and formulas. In short – don’t give structure a second thought.

Now work to create a world in which people live and interact, things happen, meaning can be found and the environment is intriguing. To do this, we’ll progress through four different stages of story creation: Inspiration, Development, Exposition, and Storytelling.

Stage One – Inspiration

Inspiration can come from many sources: a conversation overheard at a coffee shop, a newspaper article, or a personal experience to name a few. And, inspiration can also take many forms: a snippet of dialogue, a bit of action, a clever concept, and so on.

If you can’t think of a story idea to save your life, there are a few things you can do to goose the Muse.

First of all, consider your creative time. Some people consistently find inspiration in the morning, others in the afternoon, evening or even in the dead of night. Some people are more creative in the summer and can’t write worth a darn in the other three seasons. There are authors who work in cycles and those who come up with ideas in spurts. The key to using your creative time is to keep a log of your most fertile moments and then plan ahead to keep that kind of time open for further inspirations.

And don’t neglect your creative space either. There are authors who go off to a mountain cabin to write. Some like lots of noise or babble, like a city street below their open window or an all-news station on the radio as background. There are writers who prefer a cluttered room because it engenders chaos, which leads to serendipity. Others can’t think a lick unless everything is orderly, neat and in its place. Creative space includes the clothes you wear while writing. There are those who wear hats when developing characters and others who pantomime action sequences to get in the feel of it.

Open yourself to different writing media. If you only use a desktop computer, try a laptop, a palm organizer with a folding keyboard, long hand on a pad, or a digital voice recorder. And don’t be afraid to switch around any of these from time to time and mood to mood.

If you still can’t come up with an idea, try the Synthesis Technique. In brief, you want to subject yourself to two disparate sources of information. For example, put a talk radio program on while reading a magazine or watching television and let the odd juxtaposition spur your notions.

Finally, if all else fails, try using Nonsense Words. Just jot down three random words, such as “Red Ground Rover.” Then, write as many different explanations as you can for what that phrase might mean. For example, Red Ground Rover might be:

1. A red dog named rover whose legs are so short his belly rubs the ground.

2. The Martian Rover space vehicle on the red planet’s surface.

3. Fresh hamburger made from dog

Your list might go on and on. Now most of these potential meanings might be pure rubbish, but occasionally a good idea can surface. If the first three words don’t work, try three different ones. And, in the end, even if you don’t find an idea directly from your explanations of each phrase, you’ll have so stocked the creative spirit that you will find yourself far more prone to inspiration than before you started the exercise.

Use these inspiration techniques to come up with a log line for your story. A log line is simply a one- or two-sentence description of what your story is about in general. They are the same kind of short descriptions you find in TV Guide or in your cable or satellite TV guide.

A sample log line might be, “The marshal in an old western town struggles to stop a gang that is bleeding the town dry.”

Stage Two – Development

Once you’ve been inspired enough to create a log line, you can move into the second stage of Story Weaving: Development. Here is where you take your basic concept and flesh it out with lots more detail.

In Development you’ll begin to populate your story with people you might like to write about, work out some of the things that will happen in your story, and establish the world or environment in which it takes place. These efforts will ultimately result in your characters, plot, theme, and genre.

There are many Story Weaving techniques for the Development stage, but one of the most powerful is to project your world beyond what is specifically stated in the log line.

As an example, let’s use the log line from above: “The marshal in an old western town struggles to stop a gang that is bleeding the town dry.” Now let’s see how we can expand that world to create a whole group of people who grow out of the story, some of whom will ultimately become our characters.

The only specifically called-for characters are the marshal and the gang. But, you’d expect the gang to have a leader and the town to have a mayor. The marshal might have a deputy. And, if the town is being bled dry, then some businessmen and shopkeepers would be in order as well.

Range a little wider now and list some characters that aren’t necessarily expected, but wouldn’t seem particularly out of place in such a story.

Example: A saloon girl, a bartender, blacksmith, rancher, preacher, schoolteacher, etc.

Now, let yourself go a bit and list a number of characters that would seem somewhat out of place but still explainable in such a story.

Example: A troupe of traveling acrobats, Ulysses S. Grant, a Prussian Duke, a bird watcher.

Finally, pull out all the stops and list some completely inappropriate characters that would take a heap of explaining to your reader/audience if they showed up in your story.

Example: Richard Nixon, Martians, the Ghost of Julius Caesar

Although you’ll likely discard these characters, just the process of coming up with them can lead to new ideas and directions for your story.

For example, the town marshal might become more interesting if he was a history buff, specifically reading about the Roman Empire. In his first run-in with the gang, he is knocked out cold with a concussion. For the rest of the story, he keeps imagining the Ghost of Julius Caesar giving him unwanted advice.

This same kind of approach can be applied to your log line to generate the events that will happen in your story, the values you will explore, and the nature of your story’s world (which will become your genre).

Stage Three – Exposition

The third stage of Story Weaving is to lay out an Exposition Plan for your story. By the time you complete the Development Stage, you will probably have a pretty good idea what your story is about. But your audience knows nothing of it – not yet – not until you write down what you know.

Of course, you could just write, “My story’s goal is to rid the town of the gang that is bleeding it dry. The marshal is the protagonist, and he ultimately succeeds, but at great personal cost.”

Sure, it’s a story, but not a very interesting one. If you were to unfold your story in this perfunctory style, you’d have a complete story that felt just like that “paint by numbers” picture we encountered earlier.

Part of what gives a story life is the manner in which story points are revealed, revisited throughout the story, played against each other and blended together, much as a master painter will blend colors, edges, shapes and shadows.

As an example, let’s create an Exposition Plan to reveal a story’s goal. Sometimes a goal is spelled out right at the beginning, such as a meeting in which a general tells a special strike unit that terrorists have kidnapped a senator’s daughter and they must rescue her.

Other times, the goal is hidden behind an apparent goal. So, if your story had used the scene described above, it might turn out that it was really just a cover story and, in fact, the supposed “daughter” was actually an agent who was assigned to identify and kill a double agent working on the strike team.

Goals may also be revealed slowly, such as in The Godfather, where it takes the entire film to realize that the goal is to keep the family alive by replacing the aging Don with a younger member of the family.

Further, in The Godfather, as in many Alfred Hitchcock films, the goal is not nearly as important as the chase or the inside information or the thematic atmosphere. So don’t feel obligated to elevate every story point to the same level.

Let your imagination run wild. Jot down as many instances as come to mind in which the particular story point comes into play. Such events, moments or scenarios enrich a story and add passion to a perfunctory telling of the tale.

One of the best ways to do this is to consider how each story point might affect other story points. For example, each character sees the overall goal as a step in helping them accomplish their personal goals. So, why not create a scenario where a character wistfully describes his personal goal to another character while sitting around a campfire? He can explain how achievement of the overall story goal will help him get what he personally wants.

An example of this is in the John Wayne classic movie, The Searchers. John Wayne’s character asks an old, mentally slow friend to help search for the missing girl. Finding the girl is the overall goal. The friend has a personal goal: he tells Wayne that he just wants a roof over his head and a rocking chair by the fire. This character sees his participation in the effort to achieve the goal as the means of obtaining something for which he has personally longed.

Stage Four – Storytelling

By the time you’ve created an Exposition Plan for each story point you worked on in the Development phase, you’ll have assembled a huge number of events, moments, and scenarios. There’s only one thing left to do: tell your story!

Storytelling is a multi-faceted endeavor. It incorporates style, timing, blending of several story points into full-bodied scenes, sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, and good old-fashioned charisma.

Later in this book we’ll explore a number of different storytelling techniques in great detail. But in this introduction to StoryWeaving I want to address the primary storytelling problem writers encounter – a passionless presentation of what would otherwise be an intriguing story.

Story Mechanics often get stuck at this point in story development. They are so taken with the “perfect” structure they have created, they tend to anguish over the opening sentence when finally sitting down to write the story. Eventually, after writing with the problem for far too long, they write one great line and then become so intimidated by its grandeur they are afraid to write anything else lest it not measure up to that initial quality!

Fact is, you’re only as good as your own talent – GET OVER IT! Don’t grieve over every phrase to try and make yourself look better than you are. Just spew out the words and get the story told. Something not up to snuff? That’s what re-writes are for!

Another common problem is the inability to let loose, emotionally. Each of us is born a passionate human being. But we quickly learn that the world does not appreciate all our emotional expressions. In no time, we develop a whole bag of behaviors that don’t truly reflect who we really are. But, they do help us get by.

Problem is, these false presentations of our selves appear to be our real selves to everyone else. They cause others to give us presents we don’t really want, drive us to make friendships with people we don’t really like, and even marry people we don’t really love!

This false life we develop is a mask, but by no means is it always a well-fitting one. In fact, it chafes against the real “us.” The emotional irritation could be eliminated if we removed the mask, but then we might lose our jobs, friends, and lovers because they might find the actual people we are to be total strangers and not someone they like.

So instead, we just tighten the mask down so hard it becomes an exoskeleton, part of what we call “ourselves.” In fact, after a time, we forget we are even wearing a mask. We come to believe that this is who we really are.

Now, try getting in touch with your passions through that! The mask dampens any emotional energy we have and our writing dribbles out like pabulum. Even the most riveting story becomes dulled by such storytelling.

Want to really be passionate in your storytelling? Then try this: Lock the doors, take the phone off the hook, search for hidden video cameras, and then sit down to write. For just one page, write about the one thing about yourself you are most afraid that anyone would ever find out.

By writing about your most shameful or embarrassing trait or action you will tap right through that mask into your most powerful feelings, and a gusher of passion will burst out of the hole.

Once you know where to find the oil field of your soul, you can drill down into it any time you like. Of course, every time you draw from that well you put more cracks in the mask. Eventually, the darn thing might shatter altogether, leaving you unable to be anyone but yourself with your boss, your friends, and your lover. Downside risk: you might lose them all. But, you’ll be a far better writer!

And finally, go for broke. Exaggerate and carry everything you do to the extreme. It is far easier to go overboard and then temper it back in a re-write than to underplay your work and have to try and beef it up.

Remember, there is only one cardinal sin in Story Weaving, and that is boring your audience!

In summary, by exploring all four stages of the creative process, you can break away from the mechanics, and become a true Story Weaver rather than a Story Mechanic.

Be a Story Weaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!

Available in Paperback and on Kindle


Also available:

This article was inspired by  our StoryWeaver Step-by-Step Story Development Software that guides you through more than 200 interactive Story Cards from concept to completion of your novel or screenplay.  Just $29.95 for Windows or Macintosh.

Click here for details, demo, or to purchase.

Storyweaving Tip #1 – Jot it Down!

This is the first in a series of articles on Storyweaving techniques. Storyweaving is a method of moving your story ideas from concept to completion, step by step.

Step One: Jot it down!

For many writers, an incredible number of good ideas are lost simply because they aren’t written down. That great concept you were sure you couldn’t possibly forget five minutes ago has now become nothing but the feeling that it was absolutely fantastic, but the memory of exactly what it was is gone forever.

With all the social media and personal electronics available, there’s always a place to take a simple note, even if it is just text message to yourself. That idea may never go anywhere by itself, but if you have it at your fingertips it may lead to an even better notion or become part of a larger development or even show up as a line of dialog for one of your characters.

Remember – ideas – really interesting ideas – aren’t available on demand. They come when they want to and vanish just as easily if you don’t take the time to document them even in the middle of some other pressing activity of everyday life.

Writing isn’t just about putting words on a page. It is about having something valuable to say. When a thought worth having enters your mind, don’t let it escape before you get its number so you can call it back later.

Don’t forget to check out my StoryWeaver Step-by-Step Story Development Software that guides you through more than 200 interactive Story Cards from concept to completion of your novel or screenplay.  Just $29.95 for Windows or Macintosh.

Click here for details, demo download or to purchase.