What would Ernest do?
Ever wonder how Ernest Hemingway, the master of tight prose, would have handled your blog post?
Ernest Hemingway, of course, was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. He learned his economical and understated style as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. That style, which he termed the iceberg theory — had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, and many of his works are considered classics of American literature.
So how can you bring Hemingway’s bold, readable style to your own writing?
Paste your copy into The Hemingway App, a creation of Adam Long and Ben Long, to find out:
- Which sentences are hard to read (or very hard to read)
- How many adverbs your verbs are leaning on
- Which words or phrases have simpler alternatives
- Where you’re using passive voice
- What readability grade level you’ve hit
The Hemingway editor also suggests how you can fix these problems.
Having trouble finding that passive sentence? Let Hemingway find it for you. Wonder where the complex sentences are? On the Hemingway app, you’ll find very difficult sentences highlighted in red.
Tip: Use this online editor to gamify the writing process. End your editing session by running your message through Hemingway Editor. Watch the colored highlights disappear as you reduce the number of words in complex sentences and otherwise make your message more and more readable.
How did Ann do?
I pasted this post into The Hemingway App and learned that one of my sentences was hard to read. Hemingway recommended using fewer words or cutting this sentence in two:
Hell, yeah, Hemingway! I’m a passionate dasher from way back, but even I have to admit that three dashes in one sentence is not dashing.
Hemingway also flagged this instance of the passive voice:
Good point! But Hemingway suggested fixing it by writing, “Think about how [Someone] made opals.”
Hell, no, Hemingway! But now that you mention it, I am willing to activate the passive with: “Think about how opals form.”
Bottom line: My post weighed in at the fifth-grade level. Hemingway says that’s “Good.”
Thank you, Papa.
How did you do?
Give the Hemingway app a whirl. I’d love to hear how the app worked for you … and what changes you made based on Hemingway’s advice.