Write like a virtual Hemingway

This is wonderful.


Ernest Hemingway worked at the Kansas City Star for only six months, but the newspaper’s style guide forever shaped his writing:

Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.”

Still, A Moveable Feast didn’t impress me when I read it in high school. The writing seemed simple, almost childlike. “This is literature?” I wondered. But the economy of Hemingway’s writing struck me when I reread it a few months ago. “This is literature,” I decided.

I’ve spent most of my life wrestling with words — and I’ve lost most of the matches. There are so many ways a writer can go wrong. By getting it wrong, though, I’ve come to appreciate the ways Hemingway got it right.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t argue with Hemingway’s directness. He says what he means, and he doesn’t waste your time. There’s something appealing…

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23 April: Correct-your-English Language Day

Bridging the Unbridgeable

This blog features a Language Calendar, and it includes 23 April – English Language Day (UN). Why was 23 April chosen for this, and why have an English Language Day to begin with? As a World Language, English is important enough as it is. So this year, we thought we’d like to promote the CORRECT use of English for a change by having a Correct-your-English Language Day instead.

Just for this one day, we encourage you to avoid making grammar or spelling mistakes, and to just use words in their precise, etymological meanings (as writers of usage guides tell us to do). Just for a day, avoid splitting your infinitives, put only only in its proper place, avoid Americanisms (or Britishisms, as the case may be), say I shall instead of I will, use whom for a change, spell focussing(focusing?) correctly, and for goodness sake, just…

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The Big Idea: David Walton



Quantum physics gets a workout in Superposition, the new novel from Philip K. Dick Award winner David Walton. He’s here to catch you up on how abstruse, higher-order physics works for action and adventure.


I love stories that tie my mind in knots.

Stories like the film Inception, that juggle multiple layers of reality, each of them affecting the others in complex but logical ways. The kind of stories that take big chances and then deliver. I wanted to write a novel like that, but how? What idea could I have that would be big enough to drive such a story?

Two things happened to answer that question for me. One, I was reading non-fiction books about quantum physics. Two, I had jury duty and was picked for a trial. The trial was a doozie: a grown brother and sister were illegally spying on their…

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