Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Need practical techniques for editing your own work? Still time to register for Secrets of the Dark Arts April 10

In case you missed my workshop, Secrets of the Dark Arts last fall, I’m teaching it this Saturday, April 10 at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. It’s part of the Mystery Writers of America Conference, Northwest Chapter. Here’s the link for more information on registering. Secrets of the Dark Arts: Revising, Rethinking, Rewriting Revision is a […]

Read the rest of this entry »

April

Read the rest of this entry »

The deepest satisfaction of fiction comes from the encounter between the reader’s imagination and the writer’s creation. It is a fluid, delicate and personal relationship that occurs in an evanescent space.  ~ Janna Malamud Smith

Read the rest of this entry »

Fictional characters under duress, or better yet, miserable

Top-ranking fictional characters need to be uncomfortable most of the time. Better yet, miserable. Now, of course, your story can’t be a waterfall of tears and teeth-gnashing angst in every scene. That could lead to melodrama. But varying levels of misery should be trickling through causing tension, conflict, and uncertainty. And characters can be rattled, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

George R.R. Martin on why we need fantasy worlds

The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real… for a moment at least… that long magic moment before we wake. Fantasy is  silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up […]

Read the rest of this entry »

March

Read the rest of this entry »

Advice from Albert Camus

“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers, and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies […]

Read the rest of this entry »

From an Editor’s Desk: Writing Suggestions

I’ve been purging my office and as I  toss old receipts and rearrange books I’m finding scraps of paper with scrawls and tidbits on them. So I’m lassoing all these jottings. A single word on the back of an envelope says ‘waft’.  Now, waft is in my vocabulary, and I’ve used it in writing, but […]

Read the rest of this entry »

February

Read the rest of this entry »

Words Matter

Writers need to understand the nuances of language, search out fresh expressions, and continually refresh their vocabularies. For me, language is one of the greatest joys of the writing life.  It’s hardly surprising when last month Merriam-Webster declared pandemic as the word of the year.  As if 2020 hadn’t already asked a lot of us. […]

Read the rest of this entry »