Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Writers are to me, some special creation, with knowledge of how to slice life and put it into words. In advocating my love, I quote Adrian Leeds: Francophile, real estate investor and New Yorker in Paris, "writers are really fascinating people. They are both intellectual and creative at the same time. Their words paint images on blank paper not very differently than drawing lines or painting strokes on a canvas to make an impression. They are curious by nature. One can't express even a simple emotion without reflecting on it, questioning it and research is key. For that reason, they travel, they explore and they wake up each day needing their 'fix' to express themselves in a solitary way, with no one but themselves to criticize."
Such is the life of a writer. The ones that ended up in LA can be counted as some of the best. They write screenplays and sitcoms, selling entertainment to the rest of the world. I searched for LA writers and found a host of communities and opportunities to flex your writing muscle. Most interesting though, was the history that writers have with Los Angeles and how each individual's perception managed to shape the outsider's view - no one finds LA to be the same place. In Adam Kirsch's article L.A. Without A Map, he explains that leafing through an anthology of Los Angeles titled Writing Los Angeles (see below), he felt that, "if you are a native of Los Angeles, paging through all the travel notes and memoirs and short stories is a strange sensation. Where you expect to find the city itself, there is only a carnival of metaphors," and there again is the point that LA is not the same city to anyone. Where there's failure, for another it's success - such is the life of an L.A. foreigner turned native.
Links to the hub of writers in the city: This list is barely a hub (sorry, I will update asap, but to get you started)
The "BIG 4," representing some of the top talent in the industry, get to know them well: William Morris among them. I actually had a hard time finding information on the big agencies. There's an LA story about a job list released by these agencies. Story is, the assistants who see the list usually score the jobs that lead somewhere, leaving everyone else to struggle with the menial, and effectively stay on the outside.
Writers Guild of America (click here)
The OFFICIAL LA writers group site is surprise - a blog. This is not the only community, it's just a club for writers.(click here)
A litany of LA perceptions evoked by writers:
Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology by David L. Ulin.
The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle For A Livable City by Robert Gotlieb, Regina Freer, Mark Vallilanatos, and Peter Dreier.
Another City: Writing From Los Angeles by David L. Ulin.
Imagining Los Angeles: A City In Fiction by David Fine.
All of these can be found at Amazon (click here)