Category Archives: Story Development

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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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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Jurassic Park – Building A Better Dinosaur

One way to improve your writing is to look at a good story and learn from it.  Another way it to see what’s wrong with a bad story and think about how to fix it.  But you seldom see writers … Continue reading

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Letting Go of Characters

Over the course of the story, your reader/audience has come to know your characters and to feel for them. The story doesn’t end when your characters and their relationships reach a climax. Rather, the reader/audience will want to know the … Continue reading

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Excuses, Excuses….

When a child comes up with a false reason for some small transgression, we know he is just making an excuse to avoid punishment or to side-step a negative emotional response. Adults continue to make excuses; they just do it … Continue reading

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Coming Apart at the Themes

Even when a story has memorable characters, a riveting plot and a fully developed genre, it may still be coming apart at the themes. Theme is perhaps the most powerful, yet least understood element of story structure. It is powerful … 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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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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