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Michael Douglass Outline of My Lover

What Douglas Martin had to say when he came to our class is probably the most valuable advice I’ve heard so far this semester. Martin’s reasoning is right in tune with my own thinking about writing, and probably why I’m a Creative Writing major versus an English or Lit. major. I was most impressed with the creative freedom Martin displays in his novel. He spoke a lot about fighting with his editor and the problems a writer can have to face. I write with a lot of incomplete sentences, or a lot of prepositions, and I hear all the time that I shouldn’t be doing this. But that’s the way I want my stories sounding…writing is so much more about how the words flow together and sound than about masterfully constructed sentences. Martin’s book is like that. It’s pretty sounding. It’s poetry. It’s everything your Eighth grade teacher taught you not to do. But the result is emotion you get from reading the story. From feeling the story. I think that is more important than firm character development and a solid storyline. I guess it depends on what you’re looking for as a reader. I wouldn’t recommend Tom Robbins to anyone looking for a classical American writer, you know? I write because of the freedom that writing can give you. I think Martin explained part of the reasons he writes a little too simply: that he writes to learn about himself because once it’s on paper he can’t do it again. The errors we make in our lives are due to our individual character, and I don’t think putting it on paper is going to be enough to teach ourselves a lesson. Writers get that question a lot, though. I don’t know…why do you write? Why do we do anything? I don’t think it’s that fair of a question, so I really shouldn’t judge Martin’s answer too harshly. He’s on the spot to answer our questions, and answer he did...

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