Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Immersive fiction

I was driving around during the holidays and heard a show on NPR discussing how Americans play virtual reality games. It was reported that almost 70% of our fellow citizens play every day. I was shocked by the number. Callers–game developers, writers, and gamers–joined a discussion about the current gaming scene. And the term ‘immersive’ […]

Read the rest of this entry »

January, 2019

A new year, a new season, a new month. As for writing, every day is new. Keep writing, keep dreaming, focus on your goals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Let there be peace on earth

Read the rest of this entry »

Novels are forged in passion

Novels are forged in passion, demand fidelity and commitment, often drive you to boredom or rage, sleep with you at night. They are the long haul. They are marriage. Stories, on the other hand, you can lose yourself in for a few weeks then wrap up, or grow tired of and abandon (maybe) return to […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Stephen King on the real muse

There is a muse but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick take: backstory on a ‘need to know’ basis

I was teaching in Manzanita, a sweet coastal town when I mentioned that  backstory in Act 1 should be dispersed on a ‘need to know’ basis. I also told the writers gathered how I read and analyze the openings of at least two novels every day. It’s part of my ongoing skill-building and awareness that […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain.

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for alone. ~Donna Tartt

Read the rest of this entry »

December

Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Donoghue on writing:

Writing stories is my way of scratching that itch; my escape from the claustrophobia of individuality. It lets me, at least for a while, live more than one life, walk more than one path. Reading, of course, can do the same.

Read the rest of this entry »

Still time to sign up for Fiction Masters workshop in Manzanita

Folks, there are several spaces available for Fiction Masters workshop in lovely Manzanita. Great way to spend a Saturday at the coast with like-minded writers. Here are the details: Fiction Mastery Crafting a novel is a long, difficult slog even for the most experienced writers. So many decisions and choices, so much fine tuning and […]

Read the rest of this entry »