Ernest Hemingway: Style and Theory


Here are a few of Hemingway’s quotes on writing and his writing style:

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.

It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them.

(Photo: Hemingway at his home in Key West, FL)

Many of Hemingway’s short stories are just a few pages long; the language is simple and clear, and often the dialogue of its characters carry the story along more than the words of the narrator.

Writing is a skill that must be learned and practiced. Yes, some people are born better writers than others, but you can only get better by doing it and working the writing muscle often.

Hemingway referred to his style as the iceberg theory: in his writing the facts float above water; the supporting structure and symbolism operate out-of-sight.

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