Lois Karlin's Blog (5)

Who's Calling the Shots?

I’ve always been intrigued when authors talk about a character who ‘takes over’ as if the author is just along for a ride. I’m as eager as any writer to meet a strong character...one whose voice I can simply

sit down and record on paper as she speaks. Perhaps I’m too new at this

game to have met one.

Stranger Than Fiction (Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin…


Added by Lois Karlin on July 19, 2007 at 8:45am — 2 Comments

Raising the Stakes: Taking a Lesson From 'The Matador'

Thank God for DVDs. I didn’t catch The Matador when it was released in theaters over a year ago. Then again, back then I probably wouldn’t have recognized the terrific lesson the film offers

fiction writers. A lesson, that is, in developing seedy characters that

readers find themselves loving despite more refined inclinations. In

this movie we not only identify with a truly vulgar hit man – we find

ourselves rooting for…


Added by Lois Karlin on June 23, 2007 at 8:51am — No Comments

Feel the Fear and Court the Muse Anyway

It’s not only writers who suffer creative blocks.

Recently I visited friends in the mountains of Maryland, an artists’ mecca. My host was a sculptor who works in wood. Ordinarily ideas come to him while he’s working or listening to music. But lately

he’s hit a dry patch, following some success, and was telling me about

the various words of wisdom he’s been offered by artists about courting

the muse.…


Added by Lois Karlin on May 31, 2007 at 3:47am — No Comments

Cyber Personas: Talking Funny Online

Ever check out your own kids’ My Space pages? I’ll bet their virtual personalities gave you a bit of a jolt.

But it’s not just Gen X and Gen Next’ers who talk funny online. Sensible middle-aged adults – maybe especially the sensible ones – seem to take on a barely recognizable persona when they stumble into a social networking site. Apparently, people get a

kick out of inventing offbeat versions of their ordinarily sober



Added by Lois Karlin on May 14, 2007 at 10:46am — No Comments


I’d read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I knew my first draft should be shitty.

It was. Three-quarters of the way through that effort, intoxicated with my prose and attending my first Edgar Symposium, I was certain I was a

mere three months away from The End. I had the gall to attempt pitching

that “novel,” I shudder to recall, to a number of commendably patient


Once again, it's Edgar time. Forever…


Added by Lois Karlin on May 7, 2007 at 11:06pm — 2 Comments

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