Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

The deepest satisfaction of fiction comes from the encounter between the reader’s imagination and the writer’s creation. It is a fluid, delicate and personal relationship that occurs in an evanescent space.  ~ Janna Malamud Smith

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Fictional characters under duress, or better yet, miserable

Top-ranking fictional characters need to be uncomfortable most of the time. Better yet, miserable. Now, of course, your story can’t be a waterfall of tears and teeth-gnashing angst in every scene. That could lead to melodrama. But varying levels of misery should be trickling through causing tension, conflict, and uncertainty. And characters can be rattled, […]

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George R.R. Martin on why we need fantasy worlds

The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real… for a moment at least… that long magic moment before we wake. Fantasy is  silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up […]

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March

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Advice from Albert Camus

“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers, and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies […]

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From an Editor’s Desk: Writing Suggestions

I’ve been purging my office and as I  toss old receipts and rearrange books I’m finding scraps of paper with scrawls and tidbits on them. So I’m lassoing all these jottings. A single word on the back of an envelope says ‘waft’.  Now, waft is in my vocabulary, and I’ve used it in writing, but […]

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February

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Words Matter

Writers need to understand the nuances of language, search out fresh expressions, and continually refresh their vocabularies. For me, language is one of the greatest joys of the writing life.  It’s hardly surprising when last month Merriam-Webster declared pandemic as the word of the year.  As if 2020 hadn’t already asked a lot of us. […]

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A warning & some cheer from Lang Leav

There is one thing you should know about writing. It will inevitably lead you to terrible places, as you cannot write about something if you have not lived it. Though the most important thing to bear in mind is this: you are there as a tourist and must always remain one. There was a very […]

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Words are Powerful

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling, like dew, upon a thought produces that which thousands, perhaps millions think”~ Lord Bryron

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