Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

How would I write this?

It’s been said that writers live twice–once in the moment, and again while writing about what happened. I’ve been pondering this since yesterday afternoon. A “pineapple express” weather system arrived this week bringing warmer temperatures and heavy rains coming from the Hawaiian Islands. It had rained and rained the past few days, but then I […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesdays and Productivity

Tuesdays are one of my favorite days of the week. The weekend is in the rear view mirror, I feel in gear and focused, and accomplishing everything on my to-do list seems possible. That is, if I don’t think too hard about what needs to be completed before Christmas. As 2019 closes I’m pondering what […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah Water’s 10 Rules for Writers

The Guardian’s Rules for Writers is a great resource. Here’s the link to Sarah Water’s ) rules. I especially liked her advice in number 9. “Pace is crucial. Fine writing isn’t enough. Writing students can be great at producing a single page of well-crafted prose; what they sometimes¬† lack is the ability to take the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

December

Read the rest of this entry »

A Guide to Using Semi-Colons

In my work I see writers struggle with certain punctuation marks again and again. The culprits are semi-colons :, em dashes—, and the ubiquitous comma ,. Like me don’t you wonder who the heck came up with all these rules? But all grousing aside, they’re brilliant little traffic signs and help move readers through text. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick take: Fiction is about the cost of things.

Fiction is about the cost of things. I swear by this statement. Use it to guide your storytelling. What will your protagonist lose along the way? How much will he or she suffer? Sacrifice? Is the cost justified? Will readers realize the cost or sacrifice is too great before the protagonist will? Does the protagonist […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Yoga for Writers

I don’t know about you, but I spend time every day trying to undo the effects of sitting in front of a computer. Always stretching and bending and taking breaks. Here’s a yoga routine suggested by one of my medical providers from Yoga With Adriene.

Read the rest of this entry »

The novels I remember best

“The novels I remember best have empathetic characters whose motives I understand–even if I don’t agree with them–and a plot I can’t stop thinking about. The best novels make me think–that could happen, and what would I do if it happened to me?”¬† ~ Amanda Patterson

Read the rest of this entry »

Reading Deeply and Roddy Doyle

Bleak November skies this morning and the impeachment inquiry is airing on television. These days I feel like I’m taking a law course by following the news and activities across our government. Make that several courses. When I’m reading a new author or a beloved author with a new book out I often research the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

November

Read the rest of this entry »