Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Writing a Story No one has Read Before

I listen to a range of podcasts, but keep coming back to two fiction series from The New Yorker. These podcasts feature readings of short stories and include conversations with the fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. In one podcast an author, but not the author of the story, chooses and reads a story from their archives […]

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Introducing Unforgettable Secondary Characters

There are so many tricky aspects of crafting fiction, so many techniques to master. And then there’s revision with all it’s myriad decisions. Many writers can struggle creating vibrant and complex secondary characters. After all, complicated main characters are hard enough to create. Memorable co-stars, however, can make or break a story. I always view […]

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Nail your character’s essence

Fiction equals characters. Characters make us care, worry, empathize. And characters need to be knowable. When a character is introduced in a story he or she needs to make a strong impression. (Walk-on and minor characters are sometimes the exception.) This means when you create¬† characters, after you make decisions about physical appearance and their […]

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