Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Mood meets dark night of the soul

There are still fires burning in beautiful Oregon and 5 million acres in the West have been incinerated. My house is no longer in an evacuation zone for which I’m grateful. However, the air is still hazardous and I’d really just like to step outside. Hoping it’s sometime soon. One technique that  all writers need […]

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More tips on introducing secondary characters

A bit cooler today I’m happy to report, but more blistering temperatures on the way. Awhile ago I posted this example of introducing an unforgettable  secondary character from the great Leif Enger’s novel Virgil Wander. You can find my column here in case you missed it. I’m going to talk about it during my virtual […]

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The magic of characters–including co-stars

Long after the intricacies of a fictional plot fade from a reader’s memory, the characters linger with an almost physical presence, a twinkle of personality, unforgettable actions, and their happy or sad fates. Fictional characters whisper their secrets, allow us to witness their most intimate moments and sorrows, and trust us with their messy emotions, […]

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SEPTEMBER

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Quick tip for fiction writers: threat and more threat

Fiction is action, conflict, threat, repercussions from conflict, and more threat. Since fiction is based on threat–something bad might happen to the protagonist– tension brings that element home to the reader. It’s what makes readers turn pages. The beauty of writing fiction is that the real world offers up a stunning array of threats all […]

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Join me in September for Virtual Workshops

How are you doing out there in Writing Land? Can you believe it’s August? We’re in the midst of another heat wave in Oregon today (insert profuse sweat and gnashing of teeth) which is beyond unwelcome since we need rain and forest fire season is upon us. I rose early to water, so ended up […]

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And when the day reaches its end…

“And when the day reaches its end I hear the crickets and become completely full and unintelligible. Then come the early hours bulging with thousands of blaring little birds. And each thing that happens to me I live by noting it down because I want to feel with my probing hands the living and quivering […]

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August

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Reboot/Course Correction

With July fourth behind us, in the beginning of the second half of the year, I’m assessing my goals because it’s time for a reboot, or more accurately, a course correction. 2020 has been a discombobulating, scary, uncertain slog. It’s like being in an endless storm, the eye of the storm, and nightmare all combined. […]

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July

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