May 26, 2021 3 min read 0 Comments
As we gear up for the launch of “Hemingwrite,” our special edition Freewrite, we’re sharing writing tips from the author who shaped American literature. Ernest Hemingway’s writing is famously concise, powerful, and “true.” Let’s break down how he achieves this iconic style.
Just as pro athletes make their sport look easy, Hemingway’s simple prose belies depth and technique.
Early in his life, Hemingway worked for the Kansas City Star.The Star’sstyle guide influenced him to pursue writing precision. He chose each word with care. He didn’t show off stylistic prowess for its own sake. He mercilessly trimmed his writing to get to the core of the story.
The list below outlines his main approach:
*Caveats: Hemingway did not onlywrite short sentences. His sentences are, on average, shorter—he varied his sentence length.
He also used a technique called “polysyndeton,” in which he strung together many simple sentences with “and”s to accelerate action.
We often associate the words “emotional” or “passionate” with “out of control.” Thus, it seems counterintuitive that Hemingway’s terse prose could evoke such emotion.
Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory relies on minimal descriptions that let readers fill in the blanks. (The “Iceberg” refers to how only small portion of an iceberg is visible above the surface. The part above the surface should suggest a deep, complex world that’s just beyond the page.)
Hemingway famously said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” If writing started to become too elaborate or showy, he would toss it and begin with a true, declarative sentence.
Hemingway’s writing style only appears simple. Now that you know what’s under the surface, try to implement these tips in your next piece. Happy writing!
Sign up for the Hemingwrite waitlist here. The Hemingwrite is the distraction-free writing tool that started it all. Quantities are extremely limited.
August 30, 2021 3 min read 0 Comments
June 29, 2021 3 min read 0 Comments