Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

What Is Truth? (The Character’s Dilemma)

By Melanie Anne Phillips Characters reflect real people in a purified or idealized state.  And so, we can see in them qualities and traits that are hard to see within ourselves.  One of the most difficult challenges we face every … Continue reading

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Jurassic Park: Building A Better Dinosaur!

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s a flashback article from the early days of the Dramatica theory of narrative structure back in the mid 1990s.  It is the first article I wrote in a series of “Constructive Criticisms” in which I … Continue reading

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What Drives Characters?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Justification is the tangled up knot of experiences that creates both understanding and misconception.  Like a ball of snarled rubber bands, it also holds a lot of potential, and if something starts to cut into it, … Continue reading

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What is Story Structure?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Most writers are not story theorists, and don’t want to be. Still, an understanding of the way stories work can help support a writer’s instincts to make sure a flawed structure won’t get in the way … Continue reading

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Character Justifications

By Melanie Anne Phillips Problem solving tries to resolve an issue.  But if there is an obstacle to a solution, the process of justification tries to find a way around.  Sometimes characters get so wrapped up in the attempt to … Continue reading

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The Main Character’s Problem

This is the nature of the Main Character’s struggle in a story. He has either built up an understanding of how to try and solve problems that no longer fits, or he has built up an understanding of what causes … Continue reading

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Mental Sex, Characters and You

Check out our new audio program: Mental Sex, Characters and You – Just $9.95! This three-hour audio program in mp3 (download and/or play online) explores one of the most crucial aspects of narrative structure that reflects not only in characters, … Continue reading

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