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Improve your writing – the way Hemingway used repetition and the sound of words.

We can all improve our writing by learning how Hemingway used repetition and the sound of words.

TB at Hs

 

I’ll share one of my favourite Hemingway sentences – that can help you add flavour and sound to your writing!

 

I love the repetition and the sound of the words.

 

This sentence always makes me “taste” oysters and cold white wine.

oysters

 

 

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine…

 

(A Moveable Feast)

I’m on a family beach vacation – and enjoying a Hemingway vibe.

TB H painting

It’s been a joy to be surrounded by boats and seafood and to have time to re-read some of his true sentences and accurate descriptions.

 

 

 

 

1. Repetition

 

Hemingway wrote in a crisp, economical style.

Few repeated or wasted words – unless he was repeating words for an effect.

One of my favourite modern writing teachers Roy Peter Clark advises you to go back and edit your work and to omit unintentionally repeated words. He even does this to his own copy.

 

Intentionally repeated words are a different kettle of oysters 🙂

 

For me, this Hemingway sentence is full of flavour and taste and the sea-inspired sounds of eating oysters.

 

What repeated word stands out to you?

Yes – taste – mentioned  4 times.

And sea – written twice

And cold – written twice

And wine – twice

 

 

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine,

 

2. The sound of words echoing the sounds of the sea.

 

The sea is often associated with words with S and SH in them – to echo the waSH  and SplaSH  and sometimes the huSH or  whiSper of the waves.

 

 

 

Read this sentence out loud and listen to the sounds of the sea.

 

 

As I ate the oySerS with their Strong taSte of the Sea and their faint metallic taSte that the cold white wine waSHed away, leaving only the Sea taSte and the Succulent texture, and aS I drank their cold liquid from each Shell and waSHed it down with the criSp taSte of the wine,

 

 

Hemingway often criticised critics for reading too much into his work.

There isn’t any symbolysm [sic]. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish

Maybe I am reading too much into this oyster sentence.

Maybe an oyster is just an oyster!

Still, I love this sentence and the feelings and taste memories it evokes.

Here are links to other posts in this Hemingway-inpired series.

1. How Hemingway’s One True Sentence style can help you improve your writing for social media

2. https://efangelist.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/how-to-connect-with-and-convince-your-readers-with-one-true-sentence-hemingway-style/

Also, here are other tips to help you improve your writing.

JB book

If you’d like to improve your writing: Here are some quick tips.

1.Release The Verb

2.How nouns can save your butt!

3.Use visual language

4.Parallel Structure

TB headline technique

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.

Twitter 

 

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

 

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