This marvelous guide begins where other books on writing and the writing life leave off. Delving deep into the creative process, Bret Lott reveals truths we scarcely realized we needed to know but without which we as writers will soon lose our way. In ten intimate essays based on his own experiences and on the seasoned wisdom of writers including Eudora Welty, E. B. White, Henry David Thoreau, Henry James, and John Gardner, Lott explores such topics as
• why write? why keep writing?
• the importance of simple words
• the finer points of character detail
• narrative and the passage of time
• the pitfalls of technique
• making a plan–and letting it go
• risking failure–and reaping the benefits
• Accepting rejection
Writers travel alone, but Bret Lott’s book makes the journey less lonely and infinitely more rewarding. Before We Get Started will help you make your work as good as it can be: “Pay attention recklessly. Strain to see through the window of your own artistic consciousness in the exhilarating knowledge that there is no path to the waterfall, and there are a million paths to the waterfall, and there is, too, only one path: yours.”
About the Author
Bret Lott is a native of Los Angeles, California. His parents were raised in Mississippi and East Texas and relocated to Los Angeles in the 1950s. It is this Southern heritage -- going all the way back to the War Between the States -- that Mr. Lott has drawn on in writing "Jewel." He is the author of five highly acclaimed novels, "The Man Who Owned Vermont, A Stranger's House, Jewel, Reed's Beach, " and "The Hunt Club, " as well as two collections of widely anthologized short stories, "A Dream of Old Leaves" and "How to Get Home, " and a memoir, "Fathers, Sons, and Brothers." He lives with his wife and two sons near Charleston, South Carolina, and teaches at the College of Charleston and Vermont College.
“Learning to write . . . is a desperately idiosyncratic, eccentric, single-souled, lifelong quest.”
–BRET LOTT from Before We Get Started