Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Quick Take: Writing fiction is like adoption

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Nov• 17•21

This morning’s sunrise was a lovely lavender-pink and the sky is the palest blue. The a.m. newscast featured images of the flooding in northern Washington and British Columbia–the aftermath of the ‘atmospheric river’ that has drenched this region. More results of climate change that so desperately needs addressing. But I’ll stop preaching because I’ve got a reminder for fiction writers, especially those who are new to this endeavor.

Beginning a story it’s like adopting a family.

Choose a family you can cohabitate with for a year or so since typically that’s how long it takes to complete a novel.

Choose a companionable bunch so that when you sit down to write you’re inspired to share their secrets and fears and joys. After all, you’re going to have lots of intimate contact with them. You’ll be eating the same meals, sleeping in the same bed, driving  together in the same car.

This means you might want at least one easygoing type in your cast. Or maybe someone who always has a hilarious quip at the ready. Possibly add a cast member who is gregarious and helps reveal what needs revealing.

So choose wisely and make sure some fun is involved along with the conflict and pain necessary for storytelling. Make sure your heart races a little when you’re writing exciting scenes about story people you’ve come to know deeply.

Keep writing, Keep dreaming, Have heart


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