Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Joan Didion advises

I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t believe that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it.  To look at it. To […]

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Writing Habits: Noticing and Nurturing your Imaginings

I preach the gospel of pay attention. In fact I preach it a lot. Because while some stories are meant to be written, must be written, it’s the smaller details that bring scenes, moments, characters to life. And for that a writer needs to be plugged in to her surroundings, an observer, a collector, a detective. Here […]

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Quick Take: In Springtime Collect the Senses

We’re having unseasonably warm weather in the Pacific Northwest this week, though with climate change it’s hard to tell what unseasonable means any more. I’ve got new seeds in the ground so I’m watering them twice a day, nursing along seedlings and starts. And enjoying the last of the lilac blooms. Spring is the time […]

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From an Editor’s Desk: Eliminate Junk Words

I work as a developmental editor and my clients include beginning writers, authors with a dozen or more books published, and indy-published authors. My focus is on the larger issues in their manuscripts such as does the story arc work, are the characters believable and consistent, and are individual scenes pulsing with tension and purpose. […]

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May

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Join me in Bellingham, WA on Thursday, April 26 for Chanticleer Author’s Conference

For a half-day workshop Secrets of the Dark Arts A practical approach to re-visioning, rewriting, and revising. It’s for fiction writers though will be helpful if you’re writing memoir. There are also several openings available for Saturday and Sunday sessions. I’ll be teaching 3 workshops on Immersive Fiction on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (the Friday […]

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Every Day is Earth Day

Happy Earth Day to all. I’ve been planting trees and shrubs this spring, added a new raised bed for growing vegetables, and will plant more pollinators to attract bees, including lavender, Russian sage, poppies, and sunflowers. Here’s a list of pollinators that might work in your yard. As writers there’s so much we can do […]

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11 Authors on Their One-Word Titles

Book titles are hard. They need to be memorable, indicate the genre or what the book is about, create buzz, and have pizzazz. The title is likely the most important marketing decision you’ll make. And then there are one-word titles which might be the hardest ones to get just right. If you’re considering a one-word […]

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As a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying….and write about that silence. ~N.R. Hart

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5 Clunkers to Eliminate in your Writing

The first thing I notice when reading an opening paragraph is if a writer uses precise, fresh language. In case you’re having problems seeing your dull choices or bloopers here are some you can fix or avoid: Said exclamations: Today’s readers are sophisticated and understand when characters are talking and that at times the character’s […]

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