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Practical insights for writers from author and developmental editor Jessica Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Word by Word: Is Anglo-Saxon the answer?

We had our first significant rain since June on Tuesday and yesterday a rattling, loud downpour smashed down along with thunder and lightning and made you grateful for your roof. Phew. As you can imagine, nothing is more welcome during wildfire season. I’ve also got friends and family in the path of Hurricane Florence, so […]

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September

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Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Rules for Writing

I write lists, I love lists, I live by lists. Writers’ lists of advice distill hard-earned wisdom and common sense.  I don’t always agree with their suggestions, but am always curious about what other writers have learned about craft and butt-in-the-chair sticktoitness. I’ll be adding some of my own lists here in the coming weeks. […]

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Hooked: The Dropper by Ron McLarty

We’ve got a few days respite from the heat here and the wildfire smoke that was choking our region has dissipated, though fires are still burning. The good news is that one fire to the east of the Cascades is nearly contained. Ron McLarty wrote one of my favorite all-time novels, The Memory of Running. […]

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Amp up Tension Word by Word

Here’s a project I’ve been playing with –1130 words that will amp up tension in your writing. Because no tension, no propulsion. Because no tension, no unease in your readers. And you want your readers worrying, fretting, wondering. Not to mention frayed nerves. (You’ll find more information on tension and how to achieve it in […]

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August

We’ve almost limped through another heat wave around here and it’s ending not a moment too soon. I’ve been living in Oregon since 1991 and the weather has profoundly changed in these past 27 years. I never imagined unrelenting sunshine could be so punishing. When I first arrived here I’d marvel at natives splashing around […]

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The power of silence

When we write we are wrapped up in words. Descriptions, expositions, verbs, adjectives, and conversations. A great way to get wrapped up. However, don’t forget the enormous power of silence. The dirty look, the words we wish we’d said but didn’t, the cruelty of a withheld compliment, the generosity of withheld cruelty. Think of the […]

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Make Them Sweat

I’m so happy we had a few days of milder temperatures. Another heat wave is beginning today and lasting through the week. I’ve developed systems for keeping my hanging plants alive, and so far they’re all still blooming. Early mornings spent watering as the day began simmering, meant I returned indoors already slick with sweat. […]

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Tim O’Brien on fiction

The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about what the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human.

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