Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

NaNoWriMo prep: consider your story’s overall atmosphere

Yesterday there was a break in the rains and I managed more yard clean-up. I tossed out two large hanging plants with relief since I started watering them in May. Still more plants to care for, but they’re blooming away. I want to recommend another starting place for fiction: atmosphere. Now, I’m not suggesting you […]

Read the rest of this entry »

NaNoWriMo Prep: Getting to know your main characters, part 2

More rain around here, but I managed to get in a few walks over the weekend including trails at the Hoyt Arboretum, or Portland’s Museum of Trees. If I could offer a single piece of advice about creating characters it would be this: Take risks with your main characters. Make them stand out from the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Prepping for NaNoWriMo–start with character…oh and food.

It’s raining here, but we’ve had the most glorious spate of Indian Summer weather and the amber, lemon, and copper colors continue to bejewel the trees. I’m cleaning up the yard, moving plants, and planting bulbs. And hallelujah, I’m back to cooking hearty food–soups, stews, and a big batch of Beef Bourguignon and mashed potatoes […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Whitman on the secret of writing

The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment–to put things down without deliberation–without deliberation–without worrying about their style –without waiting for a fit time or place.  I always worked that way. I kept the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Fiction Mastery workshop December 1 in beautiful Manzanita, OR

No matter where you’re at in your writing career, this workshop will give you insights that create a more nuanced, polished, and compelling story. And it takes place at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita, one of the most charming towns on the Oregon coast. You’ll find the details for payment and registration here.  Crafting a novel is a […]

Read the rest of this entry »

For what it’s worth; it’s never too late from F. Scott Fitzgerald

For what it’s worth; it’s never too late, or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope […]

Read the rest of this entry »

300 new words in Scrabble dictionary

English is an ever-evolving and vital language. Influenced by  everything from hip hop to high tech  to Facebook, it reflects an ever-evolving culture. Proof: Merriam-Webster has just published the sixth edition of The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary updated with 300 new words. It seems to me that in the Scrabble world that’s a lot. Some […]

Read the rest of this entry »

October

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick take: secondary characters need to shine

“Treat all your secondary characters like they think the book’s about them.” ~ Jocelyn Hughes  

Read the rest of this entry »

Writers can Change the World

Every time I leave home more autumn colors are blazing and flaming, transforming the countryside. A few times when I was in my car on back roads I just wanted to keep driving into the changing light. Like millions I watched the Kavenaugh hearing this week and like many millions I joined the important conversations […]

Read the rest of this entry »