I’ll be the first to admit that Hemingway isn’t among my favorite writers. But that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge him as a powerhouse writer, and it doesn’t stop me from wondering what helped him develop his iconic style. So when I see a title like this, I sit up and take note. It’s definitely worth a look, and there are some excellent points I can learn a lot from. (Even if Old Man and the Sea never finds a home on my bookshelf.)
This is a copy of the style sheet Ernest Hemingway used while working at The Kansas City Star early in his career as a writer.
It’s a little difficult to read. But if you can read it, there’s still a lot of good, relevant advice in there–especially considering he used it in 1917.
Hemingway said he was heavily influenced by this style sheet throughout his career.
Notice the first few sentences in the top left of the page: “Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English.”
Yeah, that’s definitely Hemingway.
Some other excerpts:
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