Writing Truly

true sentenceWhen facing writer’s block, Ernest Hemingway would encourage himself by saying, “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.”

What did Hemingway mean by a “true sentence”? Here are my thoughts regarding a true sentence in fiction writing:

  • A true sentence is a sentence that shows and doesn’t tell.
  • A true sentence is a sentence that contains a strong verb or verbs.
  • A true sentence is a sentence that says exactly what you want it to say.
  • A true sentence is a sentence that uses the best words to say exactly what you want to say.
  • A true sentence is economical. It contains no superfluous words.
  • A true sentence is emotive. It strikes heart chords and makes them reverberate with meaning.
  • A true sentence transforms the reader by offering him a life perspective that aligns with truth.
  • A true sentence is a sentence that reveals the truth about who you are as a fiction writer.

Now, what are your thoughts? What does a “true sentence” mean to you?

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Copyright 2014 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart

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