Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Science Fiction and Fantasy Mix Familiar and New to Create Language

Science fiction and fantasy writers are often burdened with inventing a vocabulary for their story world that deepens and explains an alternate reality. Because a crucial part of any culture is its language. They’re called constructed languages.  The best methods of using language to authenticate your fiction often lies in blending the familiar and new, […]

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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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Villains, Part 2

Nothing creates suspense and fear like a potent, evil, will-take- prisoners villain. A good villain is the stuff of nightmares and will haunt the reader long after the story concludes. The best villains create genuine feelings of vulnerability in characters and readers. As in make your blood run cold. Here’s a round-up of tips for […]

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