Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Write Wing

A little writing advice that was passed on to me and that I pass on to you, for NaNoWriMo, since every Mo is WriMo for me: every scene must serve two out of three purposes. Exposition, character development or plot advancement. (Backstory can come in under any of these.) Occasionally you can pull off a triple-purpose scene, or indulge yourself in a single-purposer. But two out of three is the Way.

To me, exposition and backstory are two different things, but you may not see them the same way. Exposition is laying big structural story framework (could be past, present or future), while backstory is fill-in parenthetical stuff that is useful and fun, if not necessarily critical to the tale. It's hard to quantify the difference, but I know it when I write it.

The advice has a long pedigree: my first publisher, James Frenkel, passed it on to me when I was writing "The Throne of Scone"; I recently reminded him of it and he said HE'd gotten it from sci-fi author Vernor Vinge, who'd gotten it from someone he couldn't remember. So it's Ancient Tribal Wisdom for sure, being handed down in the ancient tribal style.

Anyway, it's the best piece of writing advice I ever got, and I thank whoever originated it, and I pass it along every chance I get.


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