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Practical insights for writers from author and developmental editor Jessica Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Ron Carlson: stay in the room

The most important thing a writer can do after completing a sentence is to stay in the room. The great temptation is to leave the room to accelerate the completion of the sentence or to go out to the den where the television lies like a dormant monster and rest up for a few days […]

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April

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Join me in Bellingham, WA at the Chanticleer Authors Conference, April 20-22

I’ll be teaching on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22 at the Chanticleer Authors Conference in Bellingham, Washington as part of a stellar lineup of presenters and experts.  The conference begins Friday, April 20. You can find the schedule here and details for registering here. There are a number of options for attending, including the […]

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Take Care with Minor Characters, part 2

In fiction there’s a hierarchy when it comes to characters: the protagonist, antagonist, secondary characters, minor, walk-on, and stock characters. Let’s focus more on minor characters, shall we? Writers who neglect minor characters are neglecting an essential ingredient, like omitting garlic or oregano from pasta sauce. Minor characters, like secondary characters operate in a strictly […]

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Language is a Freedom

For me, language is a freedom. As soon as you have found the words with which to express something, you are no longer incoherent, you are no longer trapped by your own emotions, by your own experiences; you can describe them, you can tell them, you can bring them out of yourself and give them […]

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Creating Vivid Minor Characters

Last week I finished reading Melissa Arnold’s The Hazel Wood and I’m still thinking about it. Don’t you love how good stories linger in your memory, how characters ghost around after you read the final page? It’s a YA dark fantasy, the protagonist is 17-year-old Alice Crewe who has spent most of her young life […]

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Write a lot

Write a lot. And I mean a lot. I once read that being a writer was not a hobby, it was an affliction. That rings true for me. I’m forever trying out new stories, trying out new opening chapters, etc.  Only a small portion of these ideas ends up on the to do pile on […]

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Writing may or may not be your salavation

Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Right it down. ~ Neil Gaiman

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Take care with minor characters

If you’re going to have a character appear in a story long enough to sell a newspaper, he’d better be real enough that you can smell his breath. ~ Ford Maddox Ford Minor characters are too often faceless walk-ons in fiction. But that means the writer has missed a chance to  create reality and complexity. […]

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What will it take?

This has been another grim, difficult week in world affairs and for our tattered republic. So many worrying events going on; another government shut down, DACA hasn’t been fixed, the stock market is volatile, more scandals and cover-ups in the White House. I’m weary, citizens everywhere are weary. But across the Pacific, in another time […]

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