Series and Psychopaths—The Author Sadist & Why Audiences LOVE the Pain

Here’s an amazing analysis that, as a writer, might shift your perspective 180 degrees!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 9.18.35 AM Mads Mikkelsen in “Hannibal”

Hubby and I are now careening through Hannibal, which is some of the most amazing writing I’ve ever seen. I would have never believed any actor could even rival Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, but…? Mads Mikkelsen might actually be better. I don’t know if I have ever felt so conflicted about a character. Hannibal is a stone-cold killer, but then I catch myself rooting for him?

Wait…no, he’s the BAD GUY. Right?

I’m so confused *head desk*

Yet, this series is such a prime example of why series are superlative storytelling. Instead of containing a character like Lecter to 90-120 minutes, we now have what no movie can offer…TIME. This allows for a layering, a depth, an exploration we always craved, even if we weren’t entirely aware of it at the time.

I find it harder to make snap judgements (like I do…

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Okay, so I’m hanging my head in shame. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted. There’s no excuse. Well, maybe one…

My new job had me working seven days a week, for as many hours as I could manage. (Talk about breaking your brain!)

After a hectic, albeit broke, holiday season, I ended up getting a job in an accounting firm that does broker’s audits. Wow…talk about being thrown into the deep end of the pool! I’d never had any auditing experience, but I ended up in an Olympic-sized pool at the edge of the highest diving board. With hurricane force winds at my back.

When I accepted this job, it was under the assumption that once audit season was over, my hours would be cut from 40 to around 30-35. I accepted that. After all, I also teach algebra at a local college. Things were not as advertised, however…

The deadline for broker’s audits – without extensions – was this past Monday at midnight. There were only a couple of audits that had to go on extension, and my portion of those audits was already completed.

So, guess what happened next?

Yep. I’m looking for a new job, because there was no work for me to do.

I’ve got a couple of interviews set for Monday. Yesterday I had my hair cut and styled in preparation, and this weekend I’m going to shop for clothes. After all, I’ve been wearing jeans for the past 10 years at my teaching job. Heck, even at the CPA firm we wore jeans and trainers. That was really nice.

We’ll see how the new challenges turn out.

(And, my creative brain has come back since this has ended. Woo hoo!)

Are We TRULY Thankful? Unseen Blessings that Can Change Our Lives

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.37.14 AM PLEEEEAAASE. Just ONE enchilada. I will love you FOREVER!

One thing I’ve learned is that happiness is a fleeting shadow. Contentment and gratitude are all that last. When circumstances dictate how we feel? Just accept that life is going to feel as if we are strapped to Hell’s Tilt-A-Whirl.

Because cats will never puke on tile instead of carpet, cars break, sinks leak, pipes bust, bills come, illness happens, kids act up, family WILL make us nuts, work will suck, some people will NEVER learn not to CC ALL in an e-mail, and the news will always be filled with the worst examples of “humanity.” EVERY network will spew doom, gloom, division, hate and hopelessness.

On the other side of that?

We also live in a society that tells us everything should be a highlight reel, that everyone ELSE is living a highlight reel, when truth is? That’s a…

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Feeling Vile

Today is not turning out to be a good day. Had an argument with my roommate this morning. Haven’t written in a couple of days. I was really ahead on my Nano score (just over 17,000 words) but now I think I’m behind.


It seems like the world is falling to pieces, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to deal with any willful stupidity on the part of anyone today, least of all my students. And, horror of horrors, Starbucks may be partnering up with Monsanto. If horror, by definition, is the corruption of something good, then Starbucks cozying up with Monsanto exemplifies it.

I can tell, just by reading this, that my fangs are popping out and my eyes have turned golden.

But on the bright side, it may be just as well to work on antagonist-focused scenes today, and purge all this from my psyche.

Time to murder some characters…

Have a productive day, everyone!

Wrestling With the Demon of Doubt

Okay, so looking at the date of my last post, I’ve been AWOL for a while. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’ve been (paradoxically, I might add) trying to get the final plotting bits done. At the same time I’ve been doubting everything I’ve been doing.

The litany of pre-Nano jitters is the same every year: can I do this, nobody wants to read what I write, what makes me think I can be a “real” writer (whatever that is), blah, blah, and blah again.

It didn’t get any better yesterday. I was literally afraid to put my fingers to the keys because I didn’t think I could just do it.

Today everything changed.

It’s now 3:33 p.m. So far today I’ve been able to do 5,534 words. That’s more than one-tenth of Nano done! And the day’s not over.

I think I’m going to go pound on the keyboard some more.



My momentum has slowed down quite a bit in the past couple of days – I’ve only gotten two new scenes outlined. And I think I might know why.

Alexandra Sokoloff, one of the brightest people out there (as far as I’m concerned) regarding writing and the how-to’s behind it, has been doing her Nano-prep postings on her blog. I’ve got both her writing books and I find them extraordinarily useful. But when I read her recent blog entry, it reminded me that I haven’t been able to wrap my head around sequences.

They puzzle me. Sequences kind of remind me of Acts, but smaller. Or like scenes, but larger. And yet, they have beginnings, middles, and ends, so I’m told.

I’m trying to rip into them, with Alex’s analysis of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. After that, I’m going to try it on my own with “Red.”

But, if anyone has any light to shed on this subject that, to me, is as muddy as the Mississippi, I’d be more than grateful to absorb any pears of wisdom you care to throw my way.

See you Wednesday!