Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Interested in working with me?

Hey writers, I’m a developmental editor and have a rare opening coming up on my calendar, that is time to work on a new manuscript. If you’re interested drop me a line via my email at jessicapagemorrell at gmail dot com. Will be happy to explain the process, pricing, and edit a sample so you […]

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Write from your depths

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Jeanette Winterson on the power of language

For me, language is a freedom. As soon as you have found the words with which to express something, you are no longer incoherent, you are no longer trapped by your own emotions, by your own experiences; you can describe them, you can tell them, you can bring them out of yourself and give them […]

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Read poetry, read poetry, read poetry

Corn Picking, Afternoon Break I needed a heavy canvas jacket riding the cold red tractor, air like an ice cube on bare skin. Blue sky over the aspen grove I drove through on the way back to the field, throttle wide open, the empty wagon I pulled hitting all the bumps on the dirt road. […]

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Thesaurus

{creator unknown}

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Fiction = punishment

Fictional plots punish the protagonist. Again and again. Weaken him or her. Again and again. Force the protagonist into situations, alliances, and conflicts he or she would rather avoid. Plots are designed to whisper or shout ‘no’ or ‘get outta here,’ or ‘you’re not enough’ to the protagonist. These punishments are often tests. The outcome […]

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Quick take: Descriptions work best when they stir readers’ emotions

This one is haunting. From Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina: I stopped. The music coming through the cottonwoods was gospel. Gut-shaking, deep-bellied, powerful voices rolled through the dried leaves and hot air. This was the real stuff. I could feel the whiskey edge, the grief and holding on, the dark night terror and determination of […]

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Don’t be Afraid to Pause or Slow Down

Good fiction pushes, propels, and prods characters along through twists, crises, and intriguing scenarios. A tricky part of writing fiction is determining when to speed up or slow down  the pace. Drama contains high points, low points, and points in between. If you treat every moment in a story equally spending the same number of […]

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October

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