Author Archives: Melanie Anne Phillips

Get Out Of My Head!

When beginning a new novel, writers are often faced with one of two initial problems that hinders them right from the get go. One – sometimes you have a story concept but can’t think of what to do with it. … Continue reading

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Characters and Gender

Perhaps the most fundamental error made by authors, whether novice or experienced, is that all their characters, male and female, tend to reflect the gender of the author. This is hardly surprising, since recent research indicates that men and women use … Continue reading

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Why Characters Misunderstand Each Other

This article was originally written as part of an early draft of our book on the Dramatica theory of narrative which but was never included.  It seeks to describe how characters come to misunderstand each other, and how this can lead to conflict. … Continue reading

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4 Writing Tips for Novelists

1. Novels Aren’t Stories A novel can be extremely free form. Some are simply narratives about a fictional experience. Others are a collection of several stories that may or may not be intertwined. Jerzy N. Kosinski (the author of “Being … Continue reading

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Of Showers and Fractal Time

As you likely know, I am the co-creator of the Dramatica theory of narrative, the Storymind theory of narrative psychology, and of the Mental Relativity theory of what can best be called narrative physics, which deals with the underlying mathematics … Continue reading

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Happy New Year, Writers!

I’ve been teaching creative writing now for more that twenty-five years, and here are my best tips for starting your new writing year: First, schedule your writing time like you would a dentist’s appointment. Why?  Because as Dorothy Parker once … Continue reading

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10 Screenwriting Tips

Screenplays are blueprints for movies. As such, they are not art, but instructions for creating art. Therefore, there are two things every great screenplay must have: A good story, and a clear and understandable description of how it should be … Continue reading

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Have You Lost Your Tale (and become one of the “Drudge People”)?

Drudge people.  You see them every day.  On the news.  In your town.  Outside your window.  Perhaps, even in your own home. You can easily recognize them as they have lost their tales.  With no tale, they are directionless, shuffling … Continue reading

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Is Story Structure A Myth?

A whole flock of Story Gurus (myself included) will tell you that stories have structure. Therefore, if you learn that structure you’ll improve your stories. Ostensibly, this will lead to fame, riches, a keen sense of accomplishment, and the unparalleled … Continue reading

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Do You Write Like An Actor Or A Director?

There are two ways to approach the craft of writing. The first is to step into the role of each character and write it very personally, as if you were an actor portraying a part. The second is to consider … Continue reading

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