Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

May newsletter

Written By: Jessica Morrell - May• 17•11

   My The Writing Life newsletter is being emailed this week. If you are not on my mailing list, please contact me and let me know what part of the world you’re writing from. Here’s an excerpt:

Emotional Resonance

One of many mysteries about the human species is how the arrangement of letters –mere black squiggles on a page, then form into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into stories — can spark emotional reactions in readers. It doesn’t seem logical on the face of things. When we read fiction we realize the whole shebang is a confection, spun from the writer’s imagination. So why waste our sympathy, our concern, not to mention our leisure hours? When we read memoirs we know the writer has survived and when we read nonfiction accounts, these too have happened in the past.

            Yet we find ourselves caught up in the story world, but mostly in the lives on the page, worrying and caring, often nervous or even haunted by a story. You might even forget that the fictional characters don’t really exist, because the writer has constructed intricate and finely wrought storylines about fascinating people caught in troubling circumstances. Although a novel or short story is about fictional events and made-up people — people whom we nonetheless come to pity, to root for, to grow weary of, to expect more from, to want better for, to celebrate, to mourn.

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One Comment

  1. Doughboy says:

    Umm, are you raelly just giving this info out for nothing?

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