Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ernie's words on writing

Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.
-Ernest Hemingway

And other tips.

From JB:  "Never write to begin with if you wish to stay sane."
Me:  I usually write to try to stay sane. I find that sanity and the word are often and inextricably linked.
Ali: Was just reading about him earlier. The shortest story he ever wrote was 6 words - kinda sad: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn."

1 comment:

John Brown said...

Paul, Re the sentence: Best, John