Category Archives: Story Structure

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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What Drives Characters?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Justification is the tangled up knot of experiences that creates both understanding and misconception.  Like a ball of snarled rubber bands, it also holds a lot of potential, and if something starts to cut into it, … Continue reading

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What is Story Structure?

By Melanie Anne Phillips Most writers are not story theorists, and don’t want to be. Still, an understanding of the way stories work can help support a writer’s instincts to make sure a flawed structure won’t get in the way … Continue reading

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The Main Character’s Problem

This is the nature of the Main Character’s struggle in a story. He has either built up an understanding of how to try and solve problems that no longer fits, or he has built up an understanding of what causes … Continue reading

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The Influence Character

By Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley There is one special character who represents the argument for an alternative point of view to that of the Main Character. This character, who spends the entire story making the case for change, … Continue reading

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Only One Main Character in a Story

By Melanie Anne Phillips There’s only one main character in a story.  Why?  Because a story is about the group experience of trying to achieve a goal.  When people come together around a common issue in the real world, they … Continue reading

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Archetypes vs. Stereotypes

By Melanie Anne Phillips Archetypes, by definition, are characters defined by their plot function, such as the protagonist, who is trying to achieve a goal, and the antagonist who is trying to stop him. All of the archetypes have a … Continue reading

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