Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Readers need footholds, handholds

Readers will climb with you to the most unlikely places if they trust you, if the words give them the right footholds, handholds. ~Jeanette Winterson

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Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. ~ Hannah Arendt

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Once Upon a Time: aim true with your fantasy opener

“Children understand that ‘once upon a time’ refers not only – not even primarily – to the past, but to the impalpable regions of the present, the deeper places inside us where princes and dragons, wizards and talking birds, impassable roads, impossible tasks, and happy endings have always existed, alive and bursting with psychic power.” […]

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April

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Between the lines: Mood

Just as every dark and stormy night, party, holiday, or bustling office on payday are infused with mood, so are scenes in fiction. Mood infects and reinforces the reader’s emotions, aids in understanding key moments, and enhances his or her enjoyment of the story events. Mood is the feel or atmosphere or ambience of a […]

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Writing is…

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MARCH

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Fiction Needs Closeups Too

Cold  weather all week here and my container plants are covered.  My bulbs are  emerging and they’re covered too, but so far freezing temperatures  didn’t take out any weeds. A gardener can dream. And I cannot look away from the heartbreaking horrors in Ukraine. Utter madness. I realize how hard it is for writers and […]

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Before children speak, they sing

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Deliberate Practice

I’ve been watching the Olympics this week and last night was thrilled when 22 year-old Nathan Chen won the gold medal in men’s figure skating. Mixed in with the events were various interviews and backstories on the athletes, including  their previous wins and losses, personal tragedies, and injuries. Before Malcom Gladwell wrote in Outliers: The […]

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