Hemingway, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2007, photo © 2007-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
I stumbled on an online blurb, Hemingway’s 5 Tips for Writing Well, when I was researching blogs the other day. It reminded me that I have a copy of A Moveable Feast on my shelf that I’ve been wanting to read. I’m adding it to my “must read this year” list.
I haven’t read a lot of Ernest Hemingway, even though he received the Nobel Prize in Literature the year I was born. But I find him to be one of the most quoted writers out there. Did he have a good publicist? Or was he just *that* good.
Maybe it was the way he lived his life. He was part of that wave of literary modernists, the Lost Generation. There was a woman in the December retreat who said she had been friends with his granddaughter, Margaux Hemingway.
In some ways, it seems like a tragic lineage. It reminds me that writers take a lot of criticism. A need for thick skin comes to mind.
Here are the 4 tips Hemingway often quoted from The Kansas City Star’s style guide where he was a reporter for a short time in 1917:
- Use short sentences
- Use short first paragraphs
- Use vigorous English
- Be positive, not negative
5. Never have only 4 rules.
I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.
– Ernest Hemingway
Friday, March 23rd, 2007