Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

November

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End Strong

We’ve had early rains this autumn, but the colors splashed around are russet, lemon, gold and scarlet. I’ve officially turned into one of those cranks who complain about how fast time passes. Typically, October has found me gob smacked because once Halloween is over, the runaway slide toward the holidays seems to pick up speed.  […]

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Talking about writing with Rachel Hanley

I was interviewed by the talented Rachel Hanley. A few thoughts on writing and editing and persevering.  With many thanks and yes, my head shot is dated. Keep writing, Keep dreaming, Have heart

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Ben Okri on storytelling

The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection, there is no story to tell. 

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October

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A painterly approach: more on using colors in your writing

I’ve been studying the history of the English language and am fascinated by the period after the bubonic plague of the 1300s.  After the Norman invasion and occupation of England in the 11th century,  French came to be the language of the  nobility, courts, and education.  English, much of it based on Anglo-Saxon origins, was […]

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Potent Beginnings Deliver

Potent fiction beginnings sweep readers far from their armchairs, or airplane seats, or beds. The first words yank, tug, propel them into a new world or a familiar world that offers new insights.  Potent openings introduce characters readers start caring about immediately.  Or at least wonder or worry about. Openings begin an immersive experience for […]

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Reframing writer’s block: Maybe the Secret to Writing is not Writing

It’s a drizzly morning in Oregon and I was gazing out my window at a raised bed of tomatoes, drooping in the wet, with many fruit still on the vine. Peering into the gloom and wondering how many are ready to pick. I was wondering about my next gardening steps since this autumn seems too […]

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A writer is someone…

A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing , what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in […]

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The potent opening of “Haunting Olivia” by Karen Russell

The weather is warm these days, but bearable and I’ve got a sprinklers running. My tomatoes are ripening so fast I need to check them every morning. Which isn’t that easy because one bed is an untidy jungle of branches, no matter how often I trim suckers.  I love the smell of tomato leaves on […]

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