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…

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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…

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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.…

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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

selves.…

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

GOT JUICE?

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

agents.

Once again, it's Edgar time. Forever…

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

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