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Author. Word gatherer. Developmental editor. Speaker. Wayfinder. Encourager.

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Quick Take: Everything has structure. Get over it.

I sometimes hear grumblings about story structure. As in a structure equals manacles or some form of onerous constraints. Or story structure is for wimps; real writers plot by the seat of their pants and the fairy whisperings of muses. But here I sit typing on a laptop, a machine with a screen, keyboard, off/on […]

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What’s at Stake? part 1

Storms whipped through the region last week, the weekend was mild,  and I woke up to a pearly sky and no rain in the forecast. Since we’ve already had temperatures in the 90s the respite from the heat suited me fine and suited my garden too although the weeds are now stampeding all over the […]

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Quick Take: Write from emotion and imagination

Below me the Pacific is roaring into shore in shades of silver and indigo and white, gulls are whining and whirling in a pale sky, the air cool and deep ocean perfumed. I’ve left the Portland area for a few days to escape the pollen zone and spend time with my family. My headaches are gone […]

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According to Ayelet Waldman

Most writers  spend their lives standing a little apart from the crowd, watching and listening and hoping to catch that tiny hint of despair, that sliver of malice, that makes them think, ‘Aha, here is the story.’

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June

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Join me on June 1, Hillsboro, Oregon for From Idea to Story

I’m thrilled to help kick off an exciting new lineup of speakers in Washington County. Join us on June 1 for the first Writers Forum at Insomnia Coffee, 317 Main Street, Hillsboro. I’ll be speaking from 7-8 on From Idea to Story Writers have long grappled with the problem of taking a flash of inspiration through […]

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Why Your Characters Do What They Do, part 4 goals

Goals push characters to act and strive because fiction characters are more goal-driven than triathletes. They can be: need desire ambition want purpose A goal will always be some kind of a test. Goals always mean everything to the protagonist. Subplots also require goals and conflict. Aim to make it as hard as possible for […]

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Quick Take: Characters are all about Goals

I’m in the midst of renovating a house and yard. This hadn’t been in my game plan, but there you have it. Life, truth demanding to be heard. Demanding a big change. The yard has been around for almost 30 years with almost no landscaping done during those years. The house is beat up. As […]

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Why Your Characters Do What They Do, part 3

Motivations create full-blooded characters. The Portland area is dressed in a hundred shades of green. Dogwoods are now flowering, graceful blooms umbrellaing amid the spring greens.  Rhododendrons are splashed gaudy amid yards and parks. Nursery centers are burgeoning with plants spilling over, lined in rows, artfully arranged. The garden center parking lot full, patrons pulling […]

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Be a good steward of your gifts.

  Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular  hours. ~ Jane Kenyon

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