Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Quick take: Descriptions work best when they stir readers’ emotions

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Oct• 07•21

This one is haunting. From Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina:

I stopped. The music coming through the cottonwoods was gospel. Gut-shaking, deep-bellied, powerful voices rolled through the dried leaves and hot air. This was the real stuff. I could feel the whiskey edge, the grief and holding on, the dark night terror and determination of real gospel.  

Notice how dark night terror can refer to enslavement or the KKK or other vigilante groups?


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