The Style Sheet That Influenced Hemingway

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.)

101 Books

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.

Take a look at the PDF.

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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