jessicamorrell.com

Practical insights for writers from author and developmental editor Jessica Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

August

We’ve almost limped through another heat wave around here and it’s ending not a moment too soon. I’ve been living in Oregon since 1991 and the weather has profoundly changed in these past 27 years. I never imagined unrelenting sunshine could be so punishing. When I first arrived here I’d marvel at natives splashing around […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The power of silence

When we write we are wrapped up in words. Descriptions, expositions, verbs, adjectives, and conversations. A great way to get wrapped up. However, don’t forget the enormous power of silence. The dirty look, the words we wish we’d said but didn’t, the cruelty of a withheld compliment, the generosity of withheld cruelty. Think of the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Make Them Sweat

I’m so happy we had a few days of milder temperatures. Another heat wave is beginning today and lasting through the week. I’ve developed systems for keeping my hanging plants alive, and so far they’re all still blooming. Early mornings spent watering as the day began simmering, meant I returned indoors already slick with sweat. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Tim O’Brien on fiction

The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about what the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human.

Read the rest of this entry »

Word of the day: littoral

With thanks to Robert Macfarlane (@RobGMacfarlane) Littoral: a shoreline region or  related to the shoreline of a sea or lake; occurring at the edge of things. It also means the zone between high and low tide marks on the shoreline. In marine biology the definition is more complex and refers to the zone and conditions […]

Read the rest of this entry »

July

Read the rest of this entry »

A love letter to words

I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pernicious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demimonde. I like suave “V” words, Svenghali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

punctuate effectively

When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly–with body language. Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow. In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear you the way you want to be heard. ~ […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Solstice, also known as midsummer, is dawning….

The Solstice is about to dawn in the northern hemisphere, the year unspooling, flowers everywhere. My dahlias have begun blooming, well, some of them. In one section of the yard two scragglers have only begun to sprout up. The Solstice marks the onset of summer and the longest day of the year. Onset is a […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Writing as Resistance

Writing has long been a tool for resisting and protesting tyranny, societal wrongs, and corrupt governments. With the latest crisis  where children are being snatched from their parents seeking asylum, people are protesting from sea to sea.  In fact, the country seems about to boil over from outrage, rage, and frustration. But luckily we’re writers […]

Read the rest of this entry »