The author of classics like “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Sun Also Rises” is known and loved for his simple yet effective writing style. Here’s how to imitate it.
By Tim Brinkhof, January 18, 2022
Today, more than 60 years after his death, Ernest Hemingway is known not just for his moving stories but his technical writing skills.
According to E.J. Gleason, professor of Irish and American literature at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, Hemingway had found his artistic voice before he turned 26.
His signature writing style, characterized by short phrases constructed using plain, everyday English, left a profound impact on the literary world, shaping generations of aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers that followed in his footsteps.
Although Hemingway’s way of writing may seem straightforward, it is by no means simplistic, let alone easy to imitate. A less talented writer might hide their lack of substance behind difficult words and convoluted sentences, but to write like Hemingway requires both a great effort and real intellect. Like a surgeon, Hemingway stripped his stories of any and all insignificant or superfluous information, until only a basic skeleton and a handful of vital organs were left on the page.