Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

A Word About Inspiration for Writers

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 … Continue reading

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Writing Con Men, Shady Businessmen, and Seedy Politicians

Characters, as with real people such as con men, shady businessmen, and seedy politicians, will often use statistics to paint a false, yet plausible, picture. For example, one such character might state that 12% of all high-school dropouts were beaten … Continue reading

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Message and Context

The message of a story comes from context. It is context that eventually convinces Scrooge that his way of looking at the world is incorrect. Yet, before he was shown the bigger picture, his personal experience presented quite a different … Continue reading

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About Your Story’s Title

By Melanie Anne Phillips What’s in a name?  Having at least a working title will help you start your story, even if you ultimately change the title. The title of your story may or may not have dramatic significance.  In … Continue reading

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The Four Stages of Story Development

By Melanie Anne Phillips Authors differ in many ways in how they approach the creation of a story, yet there are four stages in the process through which each author must travel: 1.  Inspiration 2.  Development 3.  Exposition 4.  Storytelling … Continue reading

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The Story Mind (Part 10) – The Four Throughlines

Excerpted from the Book “Dramatica Unplugged“ By Melanie Anne Phillips, Co-creator of Dramatica The structure of a story, then, is the psychology of a single mind made tangible. For the story to be sound and ring true, the psychology must be complete … Continue reading

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The Story Mind (Part 9) – The Story Mind Revisited

Excerpted from the Book “Dramatica Unplugged“ By Melanie Anne Phillips, Co-creator of Dramatica So what, exactly, is the Story Mind made of? Dramatica says that “Every complete story is an analogy to a single mind trying to deal with an inequity.” Now … Continue reading

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The Story Mind (Part 8) – Writing Remakes

Excerpted from the Book “Dramatica Unplugged“ By Melanie Anne Phillips, Co-creator of Dramatica What happens if you mess up and just alter part of a structure without considering the structure-wide impact that change may have? Here’s an example…. Consider the Bill Murray … Continue reading

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The Story Mind (Part 7) – Story Structure vs. Storytelling

Excerpted from the Book “Dramatica Unplugged“ By Melanie Anne Phillips, Co-creator of Dramatica By now, you’re likely pretty familiar with the concept that every story has a mind of its own – a psychology (the structure) and a personality (the storytelling). But, … Continue reading

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The Dangers to Writers from Convenience

“Dramatica doesn’t make writing easier; it makes it harder.” That was opening comment we made in a video interview by the BBC that was intended to show how Hollywood writers were ruining drama by relying more and more on computerized … Continue reading

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