Every few months I go through a round of querying agents. Currently, I’m submitting queries for my third completed novel. So far, no one’s biting.
How is this helping my writing career?
How does a great writer get inside a character’s head? What’s the secret to peeling back the layers to reveal the emotionally textured motive beneath?
I recently struggled with this while reading a long, epic poem by Goethe. There were so many characters, and each character had so much going on, that it was hard for me to keep track of all of them. It was even more difficult to see the bigger picture of how they all fit together.
Most of us have two identities inside that are struggling for domination.
There is the potential person that we would like to be, and there is the person in the present, which we see ourselves as every day.
No matter what area of your life you’re looking at—your relationships, your career, or your art—taking emotional risk is incredibly hard.
It just is.
Sometimes it gets easier. Sometimes you meet that wonderful person who deserves your trust. Sometimes your willingness to be vulnerable pays off and you connect or grow in a way you never thought possible.
Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor are so good in this movie it’s almost uncanny. As the alcoholic writer Charles Bukowski, Dillon hits the perfect note in his role, a degree right between resigned and apathetic. Taylor shines in bedraggled glory as his long-suffering girlfriend. They’re broken, they’re hopeless, yet they’re still throwing the middle finger to polite society. And in post-war Los Angeles—a repressive 1950s environment that could stifle anyone’s creative chutzpah—we see just how much of society is really begging for that middle finger.