Friday, August 21, 2009

Noteworthy Novel Notes With Mr. Hemingway

You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless – there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing ~ Ernest Hemingway

This is where I am with my novel. I am feeling ‘helpless’. Lost, without the anchor of a solid story line. I know what I would like to happen but once I start writing the characters tell me, order me to listen without arguments. Therefore, the story has taken many twists and turns.

I was given a piece of advice from my mentor, Denne, he said “Write until you know where you will start the next day,” he felt it was most important to write daily. Denne was mentored by Ernest Hemingway, himself, a gift indeed.

I was reading Ernest Hemingway on Writing and found a passage within the section about Working Habits, a letter between Ernest and someone he called Mice:

Mice: How much should you write a day?
E.H.: The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.
Mice: All right.
E.H.: Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start. Once you are into the novel it is as cowardly to worry about whether you can go on the next day as to worry about having to go into inevitable action. You have to go on. So there is no sense to worry. You have to learn that to write a novel. The hard part about a novel is to finish it.
Mice: How can you learn not to worry?
E.H.: By not thinking about it. As soon as you start to think about it stop it. Think about something else. You have to learn that.
By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, pp.216-217

This is fantastic advice! I will be working on a my WIP (Novel) or a new idea I have for this upcoming Novembers NaNoWriMo...I do plan to call upon these words to help me through.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing

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