Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Spin a Tale, Weave a Story

The common expression “spinning a yarn” conjures up the image of a craftsperson pulling together a fluffy pile into a single unbroken thread. An appropriate analogy for the process of telling a tale. A tale is a simple, linear progression … Continue reading

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Tear Your Story Apart

By necessity, authors are so focused on what they are putting into their stories that they often don’t think about what isn’t there.  Yet the early stages of story development only create a framework – a skeleton – and for … Continue reading

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Writing Stories with a Collective Goal

Some novice writers become so wrapped up in interesting events and bits of action that they forget to have a central unifying goal that gives purpose to all the other events that take place.  This creates a plot without a … Continue reading

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What Drives Your Main Character?

A story begins when the Main Character is stuck up in the highest level of justification. Nobody gets there because they are stupid or mean. They get there because their unique life experience has brought them repeated exposures to what … Continue reading

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The Master Storyteller Method

Perhaps the greatest hurdle in writing is the attempt to bring structure to a story without putting your Muse in a straight jacket. Often structure is brought into the picture too soon, clamping your passion into an iron maiden that … Continue reading

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Don’t Be Afraid of Story Structure…

Our monthly ad for our all new version 4 StoryWeaver Story Development Software Get 25% off with coupon code sw25 You really ought to give it a spin. Try it risk-free for 90 days and if it isn’t for you, … Continue reading

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Have Your Characters Write Their Own Life Stories

For your characters to be compelling, your readers will need to think of them as real people, not just dramatic functionaries or collections of traits. To help make this happen, have each of your characters write a short one-page autobiographical … Continue reading

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Use Nicknames to Enrich Your Characters

Nicknames are wonderful dramatic devices because they can work with the character’s apparent physical nature or personality, work against it for humiliating or comedic effect, play into the plot by telegraphing the activities in which the character will engage, create … Continue reading

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Novels Aren’t Stories

A novel does not have to be a story.  It can just be extremely free forms, such as in Virginia Woolf’s books where the entire narrative is a single subjective stream of consciousness. Other narratives e are simply explorations of … Continue reading

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Stories Need Head Lines and Heart Lines

Stories aren’t just about the struggle to achieve a goal. That’s just the logistics of the plot. To capture the heart, stories must also include a character whose beliefs come under fire, drawing him or her to the point where … Continue reading

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