“The Terminator” was screened at this year’s Locarno Film Festival.

A Literary Critic Trying to Survive a Film Festival

Have you heard of the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland? It’s one of the most renowned film festivals in Europe; its full of famous actresses, directors and producers, full of experienced industry professionals, well-known film critics.

And then there’s me.

I’m Karin, and I don’t know a single thing about cinema.

I don’t know the names of famous actors, can’t tell the difference between directors, screenwriters, and producers, didn’t even know that John David Washington is Denzel Washington’s son. I also wouldn’t have known Denzel Washington is an actor, if I hadn’t just googled it. …

Photo: i yunmai

It did not end well.

It was a normal Saturday afternoon in early April — or as normal as Saturdays would get in this never-ending pandemic. The pandemic is the new normal and, as sad as that may sound, lockdowns are the new normal. In lockdown, it is normal to gain weight. Especially if you’re a semi-professional dancer who not only lost the opportunity to execute her sport properly, but who basically got her entire purpose in life ripped away for months and months and months.

Believe me, I have tried. I tried practicing my steps on half a square meter in between fridges and…

Photo by Brett Jordan

It means being humble, and it means being bold.

Can you guess the single most important resource of an editor? It’s not the dictionary, the computer, or the red pen. It’s not their language skills or their knowledge of the subject or genre.

It’s the author’s trust.

If you’re editing a book, paper, or even just a blog post for an author who doesn’t trust you, you’re wasting your time. There is no point in doing the work, as the author will not implement any of the changes you suggest.

If you’ve ever written anything other than a diary entry or an e-mail, you know writers are protective of…

This is home.

“And if eating cake is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

2020 probably wasn’t the best year for any of us. Just like everybody else, I’ve had the very essence of my existence taken away from me. What is a competitive dancer without competitions? What is a teacher without students?

I’m sure many people have had it a million times worse. I still have a job, a roof over my head, and enough coffee in my cupboard. So who am I to complain?

But 2020 has forced me to reconsider my life choices, to find out what is truly important to me. …

Photo by Pisit Heng

Proper word choice isn’t a detail, it’s a necessity

If you’re anything like me, you don’t really think about every word you use when writing the first draft of anything. You have a story in your head, something to say. So you let it flow onto the page without much filtering.

If you obsess over every single word before writing it down, you will never get anything finished. Thus, analyzing your word choice should be part of your editing process rather than your writing process.

Taking a look at your word choice is crucial if you want to make your work the very best it can be.

Every word…

Photo by Sergey Zolkin

Discover the magic of the genitive case.

Yes, I am aware that no one likes talking about grammar. But if you call yourself a writer, there is no way around it. Sorry to break it to you.

Grammar doesn’t need to be boring, though. Don’t think of it as a rigid set of rules to follow. Think of it as a means of improving your style, and then use it to do just that. Sometimes, a single change will do wonders for your writing and make any text seem much more professional.

There is a famous saying in German:

Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod.


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The fact that fiction is not real doesn’t make it any less true.

My massage therapist recently told me that she doesn’t like reading fiction because it is “not real”. She is an avid reader of biographies, memoirs, and other genres — as long as they’re non-fiction.

As a great lover of fiction, I couldn’t believe what I heard. I had never met anyone unwilling to read stories because of their being fictional before.

Sure, there are a lot of people who don’t read fiction, but most of them don’t because they lack the necessary time or patience. …

Let me introduce: my top five favourite booktubers.

Photo by Merphy Napier

Do you plan to read more books this year? Did you read 27 articles on how to read more, without any results? Are you starting to get frustrated because a whole month has passed already and you haven’t read any more yet?

If that’s you, don’t worry.

Firstly, you’re not alone, and secondly, I’ve got one ultimate tip for you here. If you’re struggling to fall in love with reading, to find books you really want to read, and to stay motivated to actually read them, let me tell you this:

Booktube is your friend.

This awesome subsection of Youtube…

Image by Walker Books

Ironically, Neal Shusterman has created a perfect dystopia.

After the huge success of The Hunger Games, the time for young adult dystopian literature seemed to be over. On the rise were newer genres like urban fantasy or fantasy in general.

Until Neil Shusterman wrote Scythe.

Scythe, the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy, was published in 2016, its sequel Thunderhead in 2018 and the final book, The Toll, was only just published at the end of 2019.

Why should you care, you ask?

You might have read all of the dystopian classics like George Orwell’s 1984 and no longer thirst for the genre, or you might…

Photo by Christina Morillo

Your next writing gig might be closer than you think.

Have you ever used content mills like Upwork or Freelancer to find clients? If you have, your experience is likely to resemble my own:

You spend most of your time bidding on projects, along with at least twenty other freelancers who offer their services at ridiculously low rates. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who lands higher-paying jobs, but chances are you’re not.

In that case, you will never make any decent money off one-time clients who are unwilling to pay a fair price for your work.

I know the struggle.

I’ve tried it this way for several years…

Karin A. R. Taglang

Freelance Editor • Cultural Journalist. I talk language, freelance writing, and books — in no particular order.

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