Hemingway Advice

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Re: Hemingway Advice

Postby Rkcapps » Sun, 11 Aug 2019 3:21 pm

Love his iceberg theory:

If a writer of prose knows enough about 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. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.

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Re: Hemingway Advice

Postby Rath Darkblade » Tue, 13 Aug 2019 7:21 pm

:) I like Hemingway's edicts about "Write what you know" and "Write people, not characters". It's the "Write what you know" that first got me into writing history. And "Write people, not characters" is absolutely true: who would want to read a book about, say, a noble communist? Only dyed-in-the-wool hard-core communists. Who would want to read about crooked bankers or greedy politicians? Only people who hate bankers and/or politicians.

OK, bad example. But the point stands: give your characters more than one defining feature. If they're (largely) noble, give them a not-so-noble feature. If they're (largely) villainous, give them a redeeming feature. Otherwise, they're boring.

I've read two anecdotes about Hemingway that I really liked, and I'd love to share them. :)

- F. Scott Fitzgerald remarked to Hemingway that the rich "are not as we are."

"No," replied Hemingway, unimpressed. "They have more money."

- In a Sun Valley restaurant, a stranger asked Hemingway for his autograph. "Thanks, Mr. Hemingway," the pleased visitor said cheerfully when he got the signature.

He passed the table again and said, "Hello, Mr. Hemingway."

Intoxicated by being so near the great man, the stranger permitted himself another walk past, this time calling out, "Hi, Ernest!"

Made further giddy by Hemingway's acknowledging nod, the man made one final pass, this time calling, "Hello, Papa!"

Hemingway lowered his beard and raised his arms. "Hellooo!" he roared. "And goodbyyyye!"
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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Re: Hemingway Advice

Postby Tummelburn » Sat, 11 Jan 2020 10:13 pm

I also agree with the Iceberg idea. When I read Lord of the Rings, even if history isn't always alluded to explicitly you feel that it is there.

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Re: Hemingway Advice

Postby PaulE » Sun, 12 Jan 2020 9:14 am

Oh, it's definitely there in LotR. Tolkein created a lot other material, I once read the Silmarillion, though I should have probably been in a different head space when I tried because it was a slog. But from a world building perspective, there are few to compare.
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