Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

How Art is Made (The Battle Between Heart and Mind)

Realize that your mind is a narrative-generating machine. That is why narratives exist in the first place: because they mirror the processes of the mind. But the mind is also a repository of topical information – subject matter – and … Continue reading

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The Four Main Kinds of Stories

You can make your story a lot more focused and targeted if you know what kind of a story you are creating.  A good place to start is to figure out which of the four basic types of stories yours … Continue reading

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Plot Points – Static vs. Sequential

Some time ago I wrote an article explaining how plot wasn’t the order in which events appeared in a story, but the order in which they happened to the characters.  The storytelling order can be all mixed up for effect.  … Continue reading

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Character Change vs. Character Growth

Main characters don’t have to change to grow.  They can grow in their resolve. It is a common misconception among authors that the main character in a story must change in order to grow.  Certainly, that is one kind of … Continue reading

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Your Plot Step By Step!

Here are some general guidelines to help you structure your story’s plot, step by step. Act One Beginning The beginning of act one is the teaser. It may or may not have anything to do with the actual plot of … Continue reading

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What is Dramatica?

What is Dramatica? Dramatica is a theory of story that offers both writers and critics a clear view of what story structure is and how it works. Dramatica is also the inspiration behind the line of story development software products … Continue reading

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The First Step In Writing ANY Novel

Before you write your first chapter, ponder your opening sentence, or jot down a single word, there’s one step you should always do first, no matter your genre or style. First, the problem, then the solution: When you first come … Continue reading

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Writing Prompt Level: Expert!

Here is a writing prompt picture I posted recently and the amazingly creative response by writer Bill Williams Bill Williams – This is actually pretty easy to explain. *sips coffee* The cats in the front are feline overlords. They were … Continue reading

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Smothered in an Avalanche of Ideas

One of the writers I coach recently wrote to me about getting drowned in a sea of ideas for his story, unable to organize his material, make choices, or more forward. Here is the note I wrote him in response … Continue reading

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A Brief Introduction to Archetypes – Part 3

Archetypes are the spine of any story, whether you use them in a monolithic manner or sculpt them into more complex variations.  Understanding archetypes will help you to ensure your structure is human and complete. In part 1 of this … Continue reading

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