Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Quick take: Story=problem.

Fiction features a problem that needs solving and only the protagonist can solve it. In short stories the problem is often introduced by the inciting incident–an event that triggers or launches what follows. In longer fiction the inciting incident might lead to the problem. This event will disrupt the status quo, demand a response, and […]

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  Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. ~ Anna Quindlen

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Are you using colors?

A pearly full moon is rising through a stand of tall Douglas firs tonight. It’s casting an enormous, mysterious glow through the upper branches.  I’m stepping out onto the porch at intervals to watch its progress, as  meanwhile the Big Dipper shines above the back door. What color is the moon in your part of […]

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Each person has a song….

Each person whoever was or or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our […]

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Why So Many Adults Love to Read YA

Summer might be only a week away, but temperatures are hitting near 100 today. I’m in a bit of trouble in the watering department because I’ve been buying more than my share of ‘rescue’ plants lately. A nearby Fred Meyers garden department marks them down and I’m lured to them like other people might be […]

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7 Tricks for Writing Terrifying Horror Fiction

For more on horror stories visit Writer’s Digest here. Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart

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From The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

“This book is a train with many cars, moving clumsily along a track at night. One car contains a small supply of coal, which spills out into the passageway when an internal door is opened. You have to step over piles of slippery black grit to get through to the corridor. Another car contains grain, […]

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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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