Category Archives: Narrative Psychology

The Impact of Stories

Stories, especially those told in the media of film or television, can have a tremendous impact on an audience. Experiencing a story is similar in many ways to experiencing events in “real life”. Stories can make us laugh or cry, … Continue reading

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Characters: Lost In Their Own Spotlight

True of people; true of characters: When hit with great personal grief, how many of us stop to think about how all those around us are coping – especially those whose approach to life is to keep it all inside? … Continue reading

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Characters and Contextual Retribution

The minds of characters work very much like our own. People think both in terms of time and of space.  Our time sense gives us the ability to predict what is likely to happen next.  Our space sense gives us … Continue reading

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al Awlaki, the “Uncanny Valley” and Writing Empathetic Characters

Here’s an article about real world narrative I published shortly after al Awlaki, an American recruiter for terrorism, was killed in a raid: Recently, al Awlaki (the infamous “American” Al Qaeda) was killed by American forces. He was viewed as … 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 was never published.  It seeks to describe how characters come to misunderstand each other, and how this can lead to conflict. I’m … Continue reading

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How Characters Avoid Truth

It is well known that the observer changes the observation, but it is equally true that the observation also changes the observer. Consider that the order in which you observe a series of perspectives changes you as you go. But because … Continue reading

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Of Men, Women, and Narrative

Not to be cryptic, but perhaps the answer you seek cannot be found from the wisest man because the answer is just beyond what men can see. It is also just beyond what women can see, but then it is … Continue reading

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The Zen of Narrative

By Melanie Anne Phillips Think of the Dramatica theory of story structure as the Zen of narrative. Every new aspect of it that you learn provides a new angle on the issues you face and opens up new avenues of … Continue reading

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We Think in Narratives

By Melanie Anne Phillips We think in narratives. Narrative is not an artificial construct imposed on fiction nor on the real world, but it is a description of the ways of the mind beneath the level of subject matter. In … Continue reading

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