27 Gems On Writing From Ernest Hemingway

27 Gems On Writing From Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway was an iconic American author. In this post, we share 27 gems on writing from Ernest Hemingway.

Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist whose economical style strongly influenced 20th-century American and British fiction. He was born 21 July 1899, and died 2 July 1961.

Hemingway was famous for the ‘intense masculinity of his writing‘ and notorious for his adventurous and widely publicised life. Fascinated by war, he focused on its futility in A Farewell To Arms and on its comradeship in For Whom the Bell Tolls. He was an ambulance driver in World War I and he went to London as a journalist in World War II.

Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. His works included The Sun Also Rises, and The Old Man And The Sea.

Below, we’ve included 27 tips, suggestions, and ideas from Ernest Hemingway on Writing, a selection of material from Hemingway’s articles, interviews, letters and books. They are taken from the article ’27 Secrets To Write Like Hemingway’ by Joanna Paterson.

Please note that they are not quotations, but wisdom gleaned or paraphrased from his writings.

27 Gems On Writing From Ernest Hemingway

  1. Start with the simplest things.
  2. Boil it down.
  3. Know what to leave out.
  4. Write the tip of the ice-berg, leave the rest under the water.
  5. Watch what happens today.
  6. Write what you see.
  7. Listen completely.
  8. Write when there is something you know, and not before.
  9. Look at words as if seeing them for the first time.
  10. Use the most conventional punctuation you can.
  11. Ditch the dictionary.
  12. Distrust adjectives.
  13. Learn to write a simple declarative sentence.
  14. Tell a story in six words.
  15. Write poetry into prose.
  16. Read everything so you know what you need to beat.
  17. Don’t try to beat Shakespeare.
  18. Accept that writing is something you can never do as well as it can be done.
  19. Go fishing in summer.
  20. Don’t drink when you’re writing.
  21. Finish what you start.
  22. Don’t worry. You’ve written before and you will write again.
  23. Forget posterity. Think only of writing truly.
  24. Write as well as you can with no eye on the market.
  25. Write clearly – and people will know if you are being true.
  26. Just write the truest sentence that you know.
  27. Remember that nobody really knows or understands the secret.

Recommended reads:

  1. Between Friends: Writing Advice From Hemingway To Fitzgerald
  2. How Ernest Hemingway Changed The Writing Landscape

Source for Image  / Source for gems

 by Amanda Patterson

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This article has 1 comment

  1. PERRY GLASSER

    27 tips on writing — how do they add up to ” intense masculinity of his writing”? Good writing knows no gender.

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