Category Archives: Story Development

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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The Story Mind (Part 8) – Writing Remakes

Excerpted from the Book “Dramatica Unplugged“ By Melanie Anne Phillips, Co-creator of Dramatica What happens if you mess up and just alter part of a structure without considering the structure-wide impact that change may have? Here’s an example…. Consider the Bill Murray … Continue reading

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The Dangers to Writers from Convenience

“Dramatica doesn’t make writing easier; it makes it harder.” That was opening comment we made in a video interview by the BBC that was intended to show how Hollywood writers were ruining drama by relying more and more on computerized … Continue reading

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Your Story as a Person

All too often, authors get mired in the details of a story, trying to cram everything in and make all the pieces fit.  Characters are then seen only as individuals, so they often unintentionally overlap each other’s dramatic functions. The … Continue reading

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A Story’s Four Essential Throughlines

Imagine a story’s structure as a war and the Main Character as a soldier making his way across the field of battle. Suddenly, through the smoke of dramatic explosions he spies a murky figure standing right in his path. In … Continue reading

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How to Structure Your Story’s Signposts

First let me define what signposts are in stories and then provide a few hints on how to structure them. Signposts are the markers that separate one act from another.  Think about any well structured story you’ve read or seen … Continue reading

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A Tip for Writing Trilogies

Here’s a quick look at one aspect of fashioning a trilogy: whether each individual installment is a tale or a story. A tale is a linear progression that both makes sense logically, step by step, and also makes sense emotionally, … 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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How Can You Teach Writing When You Speak In Jargon?

I recently received the following note as a response to the writing tips newsletter I publish: How do you think you going to learn how to be a teacher when you talk in jargon? What is structure? What is a protagonist? … Continue reading

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