Category Archives: Story Development

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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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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