efangelist

putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of

Improve your social media writing – borrow from Hemingway’s “true sentence” style

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”

Ernest Hemingway 

If you want to improve your writing for social media – borrow from the bold and brief yet “true” style of Ernest Hemingway.

TB at Hs

Good writing for your social media needs to be engaging and reader-focused.

Short words. Short sentences. True sentences.

word nerd CU

In my “day job”, I  teach people how to write – smart people  (like lawyers, engineers, and financial analysts) who have been trained by their professions to write long, limp lifeless sentences.

Distant. Passive. Dull!

When I am not teaching writing – I am busy reading and learning . Learning from writers like Hemingway.

I  first read Hemingway at  high school – and loved it.

Hemingway learned his  punchy writing style as a reporter. His “myth” was part of the inspiration for me to leave a  safe career in law to be a reporter. Less money – more adventure.

War Correspondent training

Back before I became a  prudent family man, I ached to be a war correspondent – like Hemingway.

These days when I am not working,  you’ll usually find me near a beach, in a café, drinking strong coffee and re-reading Hemingway.

Hemingways

I jotted the notes for this post at one of my favourite places – Hemingway’s At Manly.

Sure, Hemingway  could be an arrogant misogynist and a bad example as a person.

But he DID know how to write in a bold and brief style.

Here are 3 lessons for engaging writing – from his “one true” sentence. (from 

A Moveable Feast)

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.

1. Use the word you. Use it early. Use it often. In the lead-up to this sentence, Hemingway is talking to himself – yet with the word you – it sounds as if he is talking directly  and giving advice to the reader. Engage your readers with the words you and your – especially at the start of your post)

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.

2. Fear not the short sentence. Use more full stops. Less conjunctions (joining words).

Here’s another Hemingway sentence. Note the YOU and the short sentence style.

Being against evil doesn’t make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself.

Break up your longer sentences.

See how the two shorter sentences stand stronger  alone – rather than  as a longer combined sentence.

Being against evil doesn’t make you good because tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself.

Being against evil doesn’t make you good as tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself.

3. Fear not the short word. Re-read the Hemingway sentences a note that the longest words are two syllables. Most words are one syllable.

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.

Being against evil doesn’t make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself.

Tony Biancotti - positive, persuasive messages

Tony Biancotti – positive, persuasive messages

Too many professionals try to impress with their polysyllabic magnificence.

Other writers criticised Hemingway’s style – saying that he never made you need a dictionary to understand his work.

I’m sure Hemingway would have taken this as a compliment. Reporters are trained to write in a simple, earthy style so their readers do not have to reach for a dictionary to understand the writing.

In the next post in his Hemingway-inspired series, I’ll share how to add truth to a sentence.

How to add a dash of truth that connects with your readers and encourages them to nod their heads in agreement with the truth of the sentence.

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

everest

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

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tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

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