Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Mood meets dark night of the soul

There are still fires burning in beautiful Oregon and 5 million acres in the West have been incinerated. My house is no longer in an evacuation zone for which I’m grateful. However, the air is still hazardous and I’d really just like to step outside. Hoping it’s sometime soon. One technique that  all writers need […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Villains, Part 2

Nothing creates suspense and fear like a potent, evil, will-take- prisoners villain. A good villain is the stuff of nightmares and will haunt the reader long after the story concludes. The best villains create genuine feelings of vulnerability in characters and readers. As in make your blood run cold. Here’s a round-up of tips for […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Villains: Color them Dark and Dastardly, part 1

A liver-eating, Chianti-drinking cannibal.Let the games begin!

Read the rest of this entry »

Fiction is about the most interesting events in your protagonist’s life

If your story is not the most dramatic, intense, and difficult circumstances in your protagonist’s life, why then are you writing it?

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Tip: Commas

    I see this mistake often in manuscripts so just wanted to pass along this reminder about using commas to separate adjectives and after independent clauses. From the Purdue OWL: “Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet. […]

Read the rest of this entry »