Category Archives: Story Development

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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Story Analysis and Structure Creation in Dramatica Software (video)

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Know Your Story Points – Main Character “Approach”

This article is excerpted from Dramatica Story Structuring Software. Some of the characters you create as an author will be Do-ers who try to accomplish their purposes through activities (by doing things). Other characters are Be-ers who try to accomplish … Continue reading

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Elements of Structure or Art of Storytelling?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Way back in the early 1990s, my writing partner, Chris Huntley, and I published a book on narrative structure entitled, Dramatica: A New Theory of Story. It begins: “Part of what makes a story great is its … Continue reading

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