Category Archives: Plot

What Chases Your Characters?

By Melanie Anne Phillips A goal is what the characters chase, but what chases the characters?  Answer: the Consequences.  Consequences double the dramatic tension in a story by providing a negative result if the goal is not achieved. Consequences may be … Continue reading

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Is Your Story Driven by Action or Decision?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Here’s some text I wrote about the difference between an action-driven story and a decision-driven story, excerpted from Dramatica Story Development Software. ***** Some stories are driven by actions.  Others are forced along by decisions.  All … Continue reading

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Be Clear About Requirements for your Story Goal

By Melanie Anne Phillips The achievement of (or failure to achieve) the goal is an important but short moment at the end of a story. So how is interest maintained over the course of the story? By the progress of the … Continue reading

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Never Be Stuck for a Plot Again!

A writer asked today: Dear Melanie, Could you please tell me where can I find some material on western genre plot building. Let me make it much clearer. I have a character Marshal, A saloon girl, Rancher, Preacher, Blacksmith and … Continue reading

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The Structure of “Collective Goals”

Some novice writers become so wrapped up in interesting events and bits of action that they forget to have a central unifying goal that gives purpose to all the other events that take place. This creates a plot without a … Continue reading

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Revealing Your Story’s Personality

Your story’s genre is its overall personality. As with the people that you meet, first impressions are very important. In act one, you introduce your story to your reader/audience. The selection of elements you choose to initially employ will set … Continue reading

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Revealing Your Goal

While the structural nature of a story’s goal is crucial to developing a plot that makes sense, the storytelling manner in which the goal is revealed can determine whether a plot seems clever or pedestrian. In this tip, we’ll explore … Continue reading

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