Category Archives: Writing Tip of the Day

Characters – The Attributes of Age

Introduction Writers tend to create characters that are more or less the same age as themselves. On the one hand, this follows the old adage that one should write about what one knows. But in real life, we encounter people … Continue reading

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How to Avoid the “Genre Trap”

A common misconception sees genre as a fixed list of dramatic requirements or a rigid structural template from which there can be no deviation. Writers laboring under these restrictions often find themselves boxed-in creatively. They become snared in the Genre … Continue reading

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Drop Exposition through Arguments

Here’s a short one… A person talking is often boring. People arguing are often compelling. If you have to drop exposition, try to do it in the back and forth barbs of an argument. Let the characters use the information … Continue reading

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Screenwriting Tip: Don’t say it if you can show it!

Excerpted from: 50 Sure-Fire Storytelling Tricks! By Melanie Anne Phillips Available in Paperback and for Kindle   Movies are a visual medium. The strongest impact is created by what is seen, not what is said. Although we might marvel at well-written … Continue reading

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Writing with Red Herrings

Excerpted from: 50 Sure-Fire Storytelling Tricks! By Melanie Anne Phillips Available in Paperback and for Kindle   The old expression, “A Red Herring,” means something that is intentionally misleading. In storytelling, a red herring is a scene, which is set up … Continue reading

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Screenwriting Tip: Break Up Monologues…

Excerpted from: 50 Sure-Fire Storytelling Tricks! By Melanie Anne Phillips Available in Paperback and for Kindle   There are some moments in some movies in which a long monolog by a single individual works well. Any inspiring public speech, for example, … Continue reading

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Using Index Cards for Your Story

Excerpted from: 50 Sure-Fire Storytelling Tricks! By Melanie Anne Phillips Available in Paperback and for Kindle   Index cards (3×5 or 5×7 in size) are often used by screenwriters to plan out the sequence of events in their stories. Usually, a … Continue reading

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There are Many Kinds of Endings

A character might change and resolve their personal angst, yet fail in their quest as a result. Was it worth it? Depends on the degree of angst and the size of the failure. Another character might not resolve their angst; … Continue reading

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Top Ten Tricks for Screenwriting

Trick 1 Screenwriting 101 Screenplays are blueprints for movies. As such, they are not art, but instructions for creating art. Therefore, there are two things every great screenplay must have: A good story, and a clear and understandable description of how … Continue reading

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Writing Tip: Keep a Creative Log!

One of the biggest differences between a pedestrian novel and a riveting one are the clever little quips, concepts, snippets of dialog, and fresh metaphors. But coming up with this material on the fly is a difficult chore, and sometimes … Continue reading

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