Starting from Scratch

A Different Kind of Writers' Manual
Trade Paperback

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From the best-selling author of  Rubyfruit Jungle and  Bingo, here is a writers' manual as provocative,  frank, and funny as her fiction. Unlike most  writers' guides, this one had as much to do with how  writers live as with mastering the tools of their  trade. Rita Mae Brown begins with a very personal  account of her own career, from her days as a young  poet who had written a novel no publisher wanted  to take a chance on, right up to her recent  adventures as a Hollywood screenwriter. In a sassy style  that makes her outspoken advice as entertaining as  it is useful, she provides straight talk about  paying the rent while maintaining the energy to  write; and dealing with agents, publishers, critics,  and the publicity circus; about pursuingj  ournalisim, academia, or screen-writing; and about rejecting  the Hemingway myth of the hard-living,  hard-drinking genius. In addition Brown, a former teacher or  writing, offers a serious examination of the  writer's tool--language, plotting, characters,  symbolism--plus exercises to sharpen the ear for dialogue,  and a fascinating, annoted reading list of  important works from the seventh century to the late  twentieth.

Praise

"Funny enough in  places to make you laugh aloud but honest enough to  weed out the weak of heart who think writing is made  by muses rather than writers' hard  work."--Columbus Sunday Dispatch

"A writer's manual that reads like a cross  between Writers Digest and Allan  Bloom's The Closing of the American  Mind."--The Washington  Post.

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