Writing Tips & Writing Software

Screenwriting Software

Books and Videos on Writing

Writing with the Story Mind<br>1 hour audio program
Dramatica &





A step by step approach to story development, from concept to completed story for your novel or screenplay. More than 200 interactive Story Cards guide you through the entire process.

Details and Demo



Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

The most powerful story structuring software available, Dramatica is driven by a patented "Story Engine" that cross-references your dramatic choices to ensure a perfect structure.

Details and Demo

Movie Magic Screenwriter


Movie Magic Screenwriter<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

The most advanced screenwriting software available, Movie Magic is deemed a "preferred file format" by the Writer's Guild. An industry standard, MMS is used by professionals and studios around the world.

Details and Demo

Throughline Index Cards


Interactive index cards - Name them, add notes, titles, colors, click and drag to re-arrange, adjust font, save, export and print. An essential tool for every writer.


Academic Discounts
on Select Products

Are you a student, teacher, or academic staffer? Get the very best price on select products with these manufacturer sponsored academic discounts!




The Secret "OC" Wars
Episode # 5
"The dragon brotherhood"

by Armando Saldaña Mora

In April 28, 1998 I send Chris Huntley this little tale:


> Left to her own devices, a Main Character will not willingly change
-- Chris Huntley


Yes! YES! THAT'S THE ANSWER! AND that's my point! Allow me to illustrate with a little wholesome story (please check the footnote before reading further):


CHRIS HUNTLEY approaches the bridge. He seems tired and depressed. He stops at the middle of the bridge an bitterly looks at the water. He says to himself:

CHRIS: All the troubles at SSI... Sometimes I wish I'd never existed.

Suddenly, SYD FIELDS appears right besides him.

SYD: Hello, Chris.

CHRIS: Eh.... Syd Fields?

SYD: No, I'm your Guardian Angel. I just took an image you could identify easily.

CHRIS: Of all the people I can identify you chose Syd Fields?

SYD: Whatever. I've come to show you how would the world be if you've never existed.

Syd pulls a small "watchman" TV out of his pocket.

CHRIS: What is this?

SYD: Low budget, this is a re-make, remember? Turn it on.

Chris turns on the TV. An commercial appears on the screen. It shows an erupting volcano and captions in super that say the following:




The captions fade and a out of the volcano comes a book, it says on it's cover:


VOICE ON TV: Dramanetics. By Melanie A. Philips. Pick-up a copy today!

CHRIS: (Terrorized) What's this? Dramatica is a cult! And a crappy one,for that matter! My worst nightmares are true!

SYD: It gets worst, look.

Syd changes the channel. CNN appears. The image is some kind of semi-military compound on Texas. FBI men surround it. There's smoke coming out of some windows and shots fired everywhere. An reporter broadcasts:

REPORTER (on TV): As the fifth day of the "Dramatica-siege" approaches,the self-called "Dramatica-Discussion-List Army" gives no signs of surrendering. These E-mail-Subscribers turned Cult- Fanatics keep saying that they -quotes: "...will die before accepting another Copy Protected Software..." end quotes.

On the screen, we see a heavily armed "guerrillero" coming out of the compound, he lifts his rifle and yells defiantly in Spanish:

GUERRILLERO: Tortilla! Fajita! Salsa! Burrito Supreme!

Captions in super translates: "LET'S KILL EVERYONE!"

He falls to the ground. Wounded by the FBI.

CHRIS: Who's that?

SYD: Well, that's Armando. Melanie's theories turned him into a guerrillero instead of a writer.

CHRIS: That's so sad!

SYD: Not that much. You should've seen his writings.

CHRIS: But I don't get it. Melanie is so smart. Why everything turned so bad?

SYD: Ah, you said you wished you'd never existed. Without you, the "Dramatica Creation Story" had no Obstacle Character; and you know that:"left to her own devices, a Main Character (Melanie) will not willingly change."

CHRIS: Where's Melanie? I want to see her!

SYD: I cannot show you that. I can only show you the OC and SS throughlines.

CHRIS: What do you mean OC and SS throughline? You said there was no Obstacle Character in this story.

SYD: That's right. When you have no Obstacle Character, The OC and SS throughlines show you all the pitfalls and potholes that the Main Character could have avoided if she have had an Obstacle Character.

Syd changes channels to weird, alternate versions of "Star Wars" and"Silence of the Lambs" in the first, Luke is using the computer on his ship and misses by a mile the core of the Death Star; in the second, Clarice Starling is being degraded to a desk job on the F.B.I.

SYD: If you remove the OCs, Luke Skywalker would be a lousy pilot and Clarice Starling would never have found Buffalo Bill. But the OC and SS throughlines show the public how those two Main Characters could have succeed.

CHRIS: But what happens in stories where a MC succeeds IN SPITE of the Obstacle Character?

SYD: It doesn't matter. A Main Character cannot arrive to a destination designated by a storyform if she doesn't have an Obstacle Character. Thisis gonna sound too "Butterfly Effect" but, what are the chances of Dr.Kimble wining the fistfight with Dr. Nichols if it wasn't for Sam Gerard?Kimble would still be a pussy physician unable of hurting a fly.

CHRIS: You're not talking about mere storyweaving, aren't you?

SYD: No, I'm talking about an Obstacle Character that is encoded as aVOID. His paths and impacts are there in the storyform, but since there's no one to take them to effect, the OC is encoded as a void.

CHRIS: So, when the Obstacle Character is completely, absolutely, definitively absent...

SYD: You use the OC throughlines to SHOW THE OTHER WAY. The one that theMC is NOT taking; and you make clear to the public that THAT WAY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN in order to arrive at the story's final destination.

CHRIS: And if, suddenly, in the middle of the story that completely, absolutely, definitively absent Obstacle Character appears?

SYD: You should have prepared his entrance. His impact should be so great that in a very short time he makes the MC turn and take all the roads she didn't took.

CHRIS: And how do you "show the other roads"? How do you prepare an OC entrance so he can make-up for his absent time?

SYD: That depends on the writers creativity. For example, when Melanie decided to proclaim herself High Priestess of the One and Only Dramatica Cult she said...

Syd pulls out an screenplay, searches the page and reads from it.

SYD (reading): "...She comes out to the balcony. Opens her arms to salute the cheering crowds, and with a single movement makes them silent to say:'I shall now proclaim myself High Priestess of the One and Only Dramatica Cult because I still haven't met anyone who have had a nightmare about cults and stuff'..."

CHRIS: Uh... "because I still haven't met anyone who have had a nightmare about cults and stuff"?

SYD: Did I told you our dialogist sucks?

CHRIS: Well... I suppose is time to say "I wanna live! I love my life" and all that, isn't it?

SYD: Yep.

CHRIS: One question, though.

SYD: Shoot.

CHRIS: Didn't you went a long way out of the road just to prove a point?

SYD: Eh... I kind of always do.


*** Chris: My own critical fault is that I can never restrain myself of making a joke, believe me is in my blood and I've had time and again troubles for doing so. The above story deals with some sensitive issues(about the Dramatica cult stuff) that maybe are too sensitive for you to betaken lightly. Please, as you read, try to forgive me if I'm touching nerves to close to you. The second problem this satirical way of mine carries is that all I'm saying seems like a silly joke. In the story I try to illustrate what -I think- happens to a story the second you pull off the Obstacle Character. I call that "Encoding the Obstacle Character as a void". Thanks for your patience.


$149.95                       $29.95          

*Try either or both for 90 days.  Not working for you?  Return for a full refund of your purchase price!

About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

What They Do

Dramatica is a tool to help you build a perfect story structure.  StoryWeaver is a tool to help you build your story's world.

Dramatica focuses on the underlying logic of your story, making sure there are no holes or inconsistencies. 

StoryWeaver focuses on the creative process, boosting your inspiration and guiding it to add depth, detail and passion  to your story.

How They Do It

Dramatica has the world's only patented interactive Story Engine™ which cross-references your answers to questions about your dramatic intent, then finds any weaknesses in your structure and even suggests the best ways to strengthen them.

StoryWeaver uses a revolutionary new creative format as you follow more than 200 Story Cards™ step by step through the story development process.  You'll design the people who'll inhabit your story's world, what happens to them, and what it all means.

How They Work Alone

By itself Dramatica appeals to structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories logically before they write a word.

By itself, StoryWeaver appeals to intuitive writers who like to follow their Muse and develop their stories as they go.

How They Work Together

But, the finished work of a structural writer can often lack passion, which is where StoryWeaver can help.  And the finished work of an intuitive writer can often lack direction, which is where Dramatica can help.

So, while each kind of writer will find one program or the other the most initially appealing, both kinds of writers can benefit from both programs.

Try Either Program Risk Free!

We have a 90 Day Return Policy here at Storymind.  Try either or both of these products and if you aren't completely satisfied we'll cheerfully refund your purchase price.

Dramatica Details & Demo 

StoryWeaver Details & Demo 







Subscribe to Storymind Writing Tips Newsletter


Most Popular





Creative Writing

Constructive Criticisms

The Story Mind

Story Points



Story Development

Story Structure

Dramatica Theory

Dramatica Software



The Story Mind






Story Ecoding




Story Structure eBook

4 Hour Audio Program
on Story Sructure


Story Struicture inThe Real World eBook

eBooks, Guides

Demos & Trials

Subscribe to Storymind Writing Tips Newsletter

Contact Us - About Us - Lowest Price Guarantee - Shipping - Return Policy

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips - Owner,, Creator Storyweaver, Co-creator Dramatica