Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Don’t Name Your Kids After Fictional Characters

As a Game of Thrones fan, (more the books than the HBO series) I could have warned parents not to name their daughters Daenerys. Unlike many people, she was my least favorite character, but there was also a great deal of foreshadowing from the get-go indicating she was damaged, unstable, and blood-thirsty. And, of course, […]

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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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Write for the night: Dire Consequences

With All Hallow’s Eve here I’m still reading the Shirley Jackson anthology (with growing admiration) and I’m still unsettled by what happens in her stories and how her twisted mind works. Reading along I’ve been thinking a lot about how stories function and how fear is wired into our bodies and brains. Some theories suggest our […]

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