A lot of people hope to write like Ernest Hemingway. Cool.
The issue is how. He didn’t just do it by short sentences and by stripping out adjectives and adverbs. If you read his stuff, you’ll also find long sentences, and for good reason.
The real secret was what he left out. He knew what was needed to make the reader work – to provoke imagination, to draw the reader. Not through words. Through the right omissions
To me his writing is to literature what jazz is to music – its strength comes from the gaps. And it is no coincidence that both Hemingway and jazz flourished in the early twentieth century.
Just as jazz gave us the music of art deco, so Hemingway gave us its literature. And we can, I think, learn from that today.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013