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Practical insights for writers from author and developmental editor Jessica Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Words are All We Have

In the Eskimo language the words for to breathe and to make a poem are the same. Remembering this has been wildly helpful to me. It means a freeness to plunge in, almost like doing a finger painting. It’s a free flow, suspending fact, meaning, sanity, then seeing, in what pours out uncensored, what can […]

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June

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Margaret Atwood says,

“Writing has to do with darkness, and a desire or perhaps a compulsion to enter it, and, with luck, to illuminate it, and to bring something back out into the light.” ~ Margaret Atwood , Negotiating With the Dead If you’re an Atwood fan, here’s a thoughtful interview you might enjoy. And here’s information on […]

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Tip for action scenes: read screenplays

I’ve coordinated a number of writing conferences and hosted best-selling and about-to-breakout authors as my keynote speakers. A few years back, above the sparkling Pacific the prolific and talented  Chelsea Cain talked to writers about what she’d learned from writing bestsellers. One piece of her advice always stuck with me: Write the bare bones version of […]

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that ethereal moment…

Writers and artists know that ethereal moment,  when  just one fleeting something–a chill, an echo, the click of a lamp, a question–ignites the flame of an entire work that blazes suddenly into consciousness. ~ Nadine C. Keels

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Writing consoles

Rhythm, repetition, making patterns–these are not only important devices for shaping the strange and abstract instrument/object we call a poem or story, but they are craved as well because of our primordial need for reassurance, the sense of security we get from moving over the known. A mystery doesn’t lose power in revisiting. Writing is […]

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Writing a Potent Action Scene

Action is eloquence. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus  There are a few techniques it seems like I’m always passing on to my clients: amp up your verbs; use language and details to create more tension; and force scenes to rise. By rise I mean writers need to thrust the drama level to a crisis, a confrontation, an […]

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May

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For National Poetry Month

A poem, as a manifestation of language, and thus essentially dialogue, can be a message in a bottle sent out in the–not always greatly hopeful–belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, heartland perhaps. Poems in this sense too are underway: they are making toward something. Toward what? Toward something standing open, […]

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