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September 13, 1991 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-13

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70

How to Write Creatively

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It has been said that
creativity is inborn: either you
have it, or you don't. This may
be the case, but fortunately for
would-be writers, there exist
norms that can allow anybody to
write creatively, or at least to
fake it.
The most important rule for
every writer-in-training to
JESSE remember is very simple: follow
WALKER the formula.Originality is fine
and good if you want to be
hailed as a genius a hundred
years after you're dead, but for here-and-now benefits like
sex, money, and film contracts, you'd be best off finding
the formula that's right for you and sticking to it all your
life.
Luckily enough, most formulas are short and easy to
remember; all you need to do is fill in the right blanks and
flesh it out to the proper amount of pages.
One caveat: the last thing any "serious" (as opposed to
"popular") writer wants to be accused of is writing formula
fiction. Therefore, it is recommended that if you want to
be a major thinker and win prizes and go on lecture tours,
you not deviate one inch from the "artistic, non-formula
creative fiction" formula, completely untainted by hints of
a literary breakthrough. The bare bones of this sort of story
goes something like this:
"Bob" (or whoever) has existential problems and

eventually goes to a cliff (or bpach, or rooftop, or very large
hill). Here, he confronts the aluord nature of everyday life
that lies at the root of his probllms with his job (or wife, or
husband, or homosexual lover, or conformist neighbors)
and triumphantly conquers them by leaping joyfully to his
physical doom.i
(If you wish to be avant-gardeyou might instead write
the hip, updated version of this formula, in which "Bob"
thinks about leaping, but instead firds himself feeling the
wind against his face and realizing th at his life, yea, all life,
is truly a good thing.)
This is a perfect story to write for a creative writing
class, a student writing competition such as the Hopwood
awards, or a small literary journal. If you do well with it,
you are on your way to being reviewed in The New York
Times.
Meanwhile, those of you who prefer big bucks to
critical accolades may wish to try writing popular fiction.
For your benefit, then, here are ways to alter our.basic
formula so that it fits into one literary genre or another,
along with methods for making your story avant-garde, up
to-date, and thoroughly hip.

whole conspiracy. Imply
are, in fact, true, but gut
stars are hiding the truth
Science Fictio
A flying saucer desce
hand of peace to "Bob,"
the skies. Final line in st
WATCH FOR THE RO
OFF.
Hip update: have the
as "Bob" is on the spacec
human being has been d
unleashed via cyberspace
Fantasy
Know, prince, that "B
of Agnathor, and left the
in the valley below the c
Mystic Sword of Paloaltc
before the time he woub
as its king.
Hip update: exactly tf
woman.
Mystery

Diining and
_Drinking

- ..'

As "Bob" gazes out fr
The Spy Thriller from behind; if he doesn
Libyan terrorists, manipulated by surviving Nazi he dies from hitting the
smuggle drugs into America; "Bob" sees them from the Inspector Dim arrives wi
cliff, and is drawn into a netherworld of betrayal and and solves the mystery.
deceit. Hip update: have the
Hip update: make the terrorists Iraqis, and suggest that serial killer. In the final
Gorbachev is duping us and the U.S.S.R. is behind the r Inspector Dim himself

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SZECHUAN - HUNAN - MANDARIN
Hours: M-Th,11:30-10; F,11:30-11
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Happy Hour. 4-7, M-Th
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Ann Arbor * 769-5722

1100 E. Catherine at Glen - 761-8996
Open 6 a.m. -4 p.m. weekdays
6 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sat., 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sun.
Serving breakfast and lunch all day.
Featuring homemade raisin bread
Favoritesfor over 30 years.
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for dining excellence by Mofly Abraham
of the Dtot Free Prees
- a i Nf1~ , I'ha

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kgjlijfNhl: RESTAURANI T
"27 YEARS EXERENCE"
CHEF JANv"
TOP GOLD MEDAL WINNER
OF DETROIT COBO HALL
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Open 7 Days 11 n4 pm

GARDEN
Szechuan, Hunan,
and Peking cuisine
Delivery, take-out, dine-in,
cocktails, and Sunday buffet
Hrs: Mon.-Thur., 11:30 am -10 pm
Fri., 11:30 am -11 pm
Sat., :noon -11 pm
Sun., noon -10 pm
3035 Washtenaw Ave., " 971-0970
t'tQx5
Italian Restaurant
Homemade Pastas & Pizza
665-0444. Take Out
300 Detroit St. at Catherine
(across from Farmer's Market)
PARTHENON
FINE GREEK FOOD
ONlhjlB~l GYROS & SHISH KABAB
_,, SANDWICHES 1
*CARRY OUT SERVICES-
CHICKEN STEAKS *-PASTA
LIMB CHOPS - LAMB SHISH( KABA|S
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FULL COCKTAIL MENU
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Custom Sandwiches, Italian
Sausages, Mediterranean Cuisine,*
Fresh Salads, Fresh Pasteries, Fresh
Fruit Drinks, Plus Much More!
Dine-In, Carry-Out, or Catering
715 N. UNIVERSITY - 663-0069
7 /p y
Mandarin, Szechuan, and Hunan
Specialties. Exotic Drinks, Full
Bar. Carry out, Quick Lunch
Special, Sunday Brunch.
Open 7 days a week.
3535 Plymouth Rd.-665-3591
4905 Washtenaw Ave.-434-7978
Students Welcome
Have you tried a new
restaurant lately?
Dining and Drinking
helps you find the
best restaurants in
Ann Arbor!!!

& SZECHUAN CUISINE
Dinner Buffets Mon.-Thurs., 5-9 pm
Lunch Buffets Every Day,
11lam -2:30Opm " All You Can Eatl

Paris Is Burning
Fascinating documentary about a New
York subculture of drag queens.
(Jennie Livingston, 1990)
Mich Th. 5:00 & 9:40
* 6 * 9 0 *
Cyrano de Bergerac
View the dieu in Gerard Depardieu.
(Jean-Paul Rappaneau, 1990)
Mich Th. 6:50
* 9 * 0 * *
Dementia 13
Ultra low-budget horror flick from the
director of Apocalypse Now. Part of a
Friday the 13th horror triple feature.
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1963)
MLB 4 7:00
Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec
Mummy
More horror from the director of The
Brainiac.
(Rene Cordona, 1965)
MLB 4 8:50
* 0 - ' ' *9
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
The eleventh and possibly greatest
Godzilla movie offers a scathing
environmental message. (Why do you
think they call him "Big Green"?)
(Yoshimitsu Banno, 1971)
MLB 4 10:15
-* * 0 . * 0
Night of the Living Dead
Despite a lousy remake and endless
ripoffs, the original is a true horror
classic.
(George Romero, 1968)
MLB 3 8:00
.* * 0 S * 0
Friday the 13th
Way better than the sequels. Not.

(Sean Cunningham, 1980)
MLB3 9:45
S A T U R D A Y
La Femme Nikita
If you've never liked French films, here's
one for you. This Americanized action
thriller stars the energized Anne
Parillaud as a criminal turned
government assassin.
(Luc Besson, 1990)
MLB 3 7:00 & 9'00
. 0 . 0 . .6
Impromptu
Romantic comedy about the wacky
escapades of Fred Chopin, George
Sand, Franz Liszt and others. Stars
Mandy Patinkin, Judy Davis, Julian
Sands and Emma Thompson of Dead
Againfame.
(James Lapine, 1990)
MichTh. 5:15
. 0 0 . 0 .0
Paris is Burning
See Friday.
(Jennie Livingston, 1990)
Mich Th. 7:35 & 11:30
* . . . 0 .0
Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Insert obligatory autoeroticism joke
here.
(Tim Burton, 1985)
MLB 4 7:00 & 10-00
Flip Chicks
X-rated fun about the making of a porno
flick. For some reason, coupled with the
Pee Wee Herman flick.
(Johannes de Silentio,1972)
MLB 4 8:45
* - 9 . 0 .0

Mortal Thoughts
Any thriller that kills off Bruce Willis in
the first half-hour can't be all bad. With
Demi Moore and Glenne Headly.
(Alan Rudolph, 1991)
Mich Th. 9:30
Reefer Madness
Cautionary tale about the "evil weed."
(Louis Gasnier, 1936)
Aud A 8:30
* 0 - 0 0 -0
Harold and Maude
Black comedy about hearses and
transgenerational love.
(Hal Ashby, 1971)
Aud A 10-00
S U N D A Y
Eyes of Youth / Smouldering Fires
The Ann Arbor silent film society
presents films starring Claire McDowell,
Clara Kimball Young, Rudolf Valentino
and other stars. Admission $2.
Sheraton Inn (across from Briarwood)
3:00
* 0 0 0 6 0
La Femme Nikita
See Saturday.
MLB 3 7:00 & 9:00
Mortal Thoughts
See Saturday.
Mich Th. 4:35
Impromptu
See Saturday.
Mich Th. 6:45
* ' 6 6 * 0
Paris Is Burning
See Friday.
Mich Th. 8:35

MONDAY
Rashomon
Essential classic about a murder seen
from different viewpoints. With the
great Toshiro Mifune.
(Akira Kurosawa, 1951)
Mich Th. 7:00
Paris is:Burning
See Fday.
MichTh.:9:00.
TUE S DRAY
Rashomon
See Monday.
Mich Th. 7:00-
Paris is Burning
See Friday. j
Mich Th. 9:00
W ED N E S D AY
Chameleon Street Y
Critically acclaimed first film
Michigander Harris, partly filmed i nn
Arbor. "I think, therefore I scam. .
(Wendell B. Harris, 1991)
Mich Th. 7:20
Paris is BumIng
See Friday.
Mich Th. 9:30
Chameleon Street
See Wednesday.
Mich Th. 7:20
Paris is Burning
See Friday.
Mich Th. 9:30

L

Have you tred a new
restaurant lately?
Dining and Drinking
helps youfind the
best restaurants in
Ann Arbor!!!

i

11

* 0 0 0 0 6

Page 11

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