Category Archives: Story Development

What Happens in Acts One, Two, and Three?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s a good general template for beginning writers that outlines some of the key events and activities that are best addressed in each of your three acts. ACT ONE Act one is about the Set Up. … Continue reading

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Structure vs. Passion

No one reads a book or goes to a movie to enjoy a good structure. No author writes because he is driven to create a sound structure. Audiences and authors come to opposite sides of a story because of their … Continue reading

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Lost in Alternative Plots

Do you remember the television series called Lost – about a plane that crashes on a mysterious island filled with contradictions and unanswerable questions? The series ran for something like five years and never really answered most of those questions. When … Continue reading

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Write a Log Line for Your Story

A log line is just a one sentence description of the core of what your story is about. You probably have a lot of ideas developed and even a potential structure. That’s great, but it also can become a bit … Continue reading

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Jurassic Park: Building A Better Dinosaur!

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s a flashback article from the early days of the Dramatica theory of narrative structure back in the mid 1990s.  It is the first article I wrote in a series of “Constructive Criticisms” in which I … Continue reading

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StoryWeaver and the Author’s Journey

By Melanie Anne Phillips Introduction to StoryWeaver StoryWeaver is a new method of story development with a revolutionary approach.  Rather that focusing on what stories need to be complete, it focuses on what authors need to complete stories. Other methods look … Continue reading

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Spin a Tale, Weave a Story

By Melanie Anne Phillips The common expression “spinning a yarn” conjures up the image of a craftsperson pulling together a fluffy pile into a single unbroken thread. An appropriate analogy for the process of telling a tale. A tale is … Continue reading

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Atlas Shrugged – Why Did The Films Fail?

Recently, I was commissioned to determine why the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, had failed so miserably. Reading the 1200 page book and watching the six-hour movie trilogy resulted in a 36 page report, which my client … Continue reading

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Writing a Saul to Paul Story

A writer recently asked: I am writing a Saul-to-Paul story whereby my protagonist begins the story with one goal in mind (i.e., persecution of a particular people on behalf of a dictator), but at some point through the story, he … Continue reading

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How to Grow a Sentence into a Story

Start with any sentence in your text, be it back story, something about your character or plot or even the outline of a scene. Example: The dog ran over the hedge. Now, ask as many intelligent, relevant questions about that … Continue reading

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