My thoughts on writing tips found online and in published works (with some random thoughts thrown into the mix).

Monday, April 9, 2012

A to Z Challenge: H

H is for...Hemingway's Tips for Writing Well:

1. Use short sentences
If you drone on and on and on and on and on, then your reader will lose interest and move on. They will walk away (See what I did there?). They want to be immersed in your topic. If you use super-long sentences, the focus shifts to your writing and the words on the page instead of the scene that the reader should be imagining.

2. Use short first paragraphs
If you start with a long, never-ending first paragraph, your reader will instantly lose interest and give up on you. Long paragraphs are intimidating and should only be used later in your writing. For the opening paragraphs, keep it short. Use this short introduction to capture your reader's attention and reel them in.

3. Use vigorous English
Always use the most powerful and effective words for what you are trying to convey to the reader. Use strong language that is highly expressive and will engage your reader.

4. Be positive, not negative
This doesn't mean you have to see the glass as half-full. What this means is that you need to keep your sentences as simple as possible. Instead of saying, "He isn't a doctor," say, "He is a professor." Instead of saying, "The air isn't hot," say, "The air is cold."


  1. Good post, Rebecca. Hemingway's tips can't be wrong; they served him well. :-)

  2. Hemingway certainly practiced what he preached. I've learned a lot about writing from him.

    I agree with everyone of the points above (especially the second one!!)

    - Lauren @Word Art