From “An Afternoon with Hemingway,” by Edward Stanford:
“When you write,” he [Hemingway] said, “Your object is to convey every sensation, sight, feeling, emotion to the reader. So you have to work over what you write.If you use a pencil, you get three different views of it to see if you are getting it across they way you want to. First, when you read it over, then when it is typed, and again in proof. And it keeps it fluid longer so you can improve it easier.”
“How do you ever learn to convey every sensation, sight, and feeling to the reader? Just keep working at if for forty-odd years the way you have? Are there any tricks?”
“No. The hardest trade in the world to do is the writing of straight, honest prose about human beings. But there are ways you can train yourself.”
“When you walk-in to a room and you get a certain feeling or emotion, remember back until you see exactly what it was that gave you the emotion. Remember what the noises and smells were and what was said. Then write it down, making it clear so the reader will see it too and have the same feeling you had. And watch people, observe, try to put yourself in somebody else’s head. If two men argue, don’t just think who is wright and who is wrong. Think what both their sides are. As a man, you know who is right and who is wrong: you have to judge. As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”
Bravo, Ernest! Wise advise for us to ponder and apply as we all write on!
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