Category Archives: Characters

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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SECRETS of the Protagonist…

By Melanie Anne Phillips The Protagonist is one of the most misunderstood characters in a story’s structure.  It is often assumed that this character is a typical “Hero” who is a good guy, the central character in the story, and … Continue reading

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Characters: The Attributes of Age

By Melanie Anne Phillips Writers tend to create characters that are more or less the same age as themselves. On the one hand, this follows the old adage that one should write about what one knows. But in real life, … Continue reading

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Writing from a Character’s Point of View

By Melanie Anne Phillips Perhaps the best way to instill real feelings in a character is to stand in his or her shoes and write from the character’s point of view. Unfortunately, this method also holds the greatest danger of … Continue reading

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Character Introductions

By Melanie Anne Phillips Some stories introduce characters as people and then let the reader/audience discover their roles and relationships afterward. This tends to help an audience identify with the characters. Other stories put roles first, so that we know … Continue reading

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Don’t Forget Your Character Dismissals!

By Melanie Anne Phillips 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 … Continue reading

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Male vs. Female Problem Solving

By Melanie Anne Phillips All too often in stories, relationships and interchanges between characters of different sexes come off stilted, unbelievable, or contrived. In fact, since the author is writing from the perspective of only one of the two sexes, … Continue reading

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