Category Archives: Characters

Forget Your Protagonist – Who’s Your Main Character?

By Melanie Anne Phillips For just about any story you read, you get a sense of who it revolves around – who is it really about? Who is the character whose shoes we stand in, through whose eyes and heart … Continue reading

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Character Development Tricks!

By Melanie Anne Phillips Although it is possible to write without the use of characters, it is not easy. Characters represent our drives, our essential human qualities. So a story without characters would be a story that did not describe … Continue reading

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Creating Characters from Scratch

By Melanie Anne Phillips   In this article, we’ll first take a quick look at the origins of the concept of fictional characters, then outline some practical techniques for creating compelling characters from thin air.   Where Do Characters Come … Continue reading

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“Things” as Characters

By Melanie Anne Phillips Can things be characters? A writer asks: “My favorite creative writing book is ‘Setting’ by Jack Bickham. Use of setting as primary with characters, plot, theme, mood, etc derived from it and interacting with it seems … Continue reading

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Writing Characters of the Opposite Sex

By Melanie Anne Phillips 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 clearly … Continue reading

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Paths of Character Growth

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here are six ways in which your Main Character can flirt with change over the course of your story, up to the climax where they will either embrace change or reject it, as Scrooge accepts change in A … Continue reading

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Main Character Growth

By Melanie Anne Phillips Your main character doesn’t have to change in order to grow; they can grow in their resolve not to change.  Some characters, like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol or Rick in Casablanca , do change, while others, like Rocky in … Continue reading

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The Dramatic Triangle

By Melanie Anne Phillips There are two story lines in every complete story, and you can either run them in parallel or you can hinge them together to form a dramatic triangle. The first story line is the overall story that … Continue reading

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Characters: Cogs in the Machine?

By Melanie Anne Phillips From a structural standpoint, characters are just cogs in the machine.  They have a job to do in the story as a protagonist, antagonist or any one of the functional roles that must be filled for … Continue reading

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The Influence Character

By Melanie Anne Phillips What is an Influence Character?  First, let’s look at some wide-ranging examples of Influence Characters in well-known stories to show their use and effect, then a bit about how to put one in your story. Example 1 … Continue reading

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