jessicamorrell.com

Practical insights for writers. Author. Developmental editor. Speaker. Writing mentor.

Quick Take:

Stories are about change. The more painful the better. These difficult changes are going to happen to your protagonist–he or she will always be the character most hurt and changed by the story events. The effect of all these changes? A character arc. Proof that your protagonist has come through the fire, has been somehow […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Take: Tough Choices

People are defined by their choices. This applies to poker players and politicians, world leaders and criminals, parents and coaches. Fictional characters are also defined by the choices they make. Choices start off a story because a character needs to respond to the inciting incident and first plot point. In Act two when the protagonist’s […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick take: Take a cue from film directors

Fiction and memoir writers take a cue from film directors: In each moment and scene understand where you want to focus your reader’s attention. The director, and later the editors, have a distinct purpose for every shot, along with every detail, sound, color, tone, lighting, motif, subtext, and symbol.  Without knowing it, the audience is […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Take: Write What Scares You

Writing what scares you doesn’t require that you write a depressing memoir, lonely tale, or gore-soaked, zombie-slasher free-for-all. It does mean you’ll be revealing the inky, complex emotions and potholed messes that shape a life. It means you’ll be thinking about human foibles and not-so pleasant qualities.No matter your genre,  fear should have you peering […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Take:

Everything your main characters do must have consequences. No, I’m not talking about tying their shoelaces or walking the dog. Well, unless they’re walking the pooch in a sketchy neighborhood, in the rain at 2 a.m., or as a hurricane is about to blast through…..A kiss needs to lead to something. A slap or lie […]

Read the rest of this entry »