Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “Ernest Hemingway

Writers and Honesty

I am going to get some hate mail for this post, but this will be nothing new for me.

Being that I am a writer by profession, I obviously know a ton of other writers of various genres. While in college, I was an English major so I know a thing or two about literary writing. Not saying I am the all knowing, just saying I know good writing when I see it. This is my 2 cents.

While not concentrating on my writing, I occasionally have people ask me to read their work who want “an honest review.” I am ok with that. I’m not the kind of person to massage another’s ego just so they can feel good. If i see flaws or what I feel are flaws in someone work, I point it out. I feel i give real literary reviews. I don’t just tear into a work and say hateful things like “THIS IS AWFUL!” or “This author sucks!” No. Sorry. That’s not professional or helpful in any way. What I do point out are both the good points and the shortcomings of a book. Perhaps a character was left underdeveloped or maybe there was a loose end that was left untied. I will point those things out in a heartbeat. I will also offer praise if warranted. If the story was solid with good character development and keep the reader interested, I will say that as well. I very rarely give 5 star reviews because I feel that almost any book can always be better. That being said, I;ve discovered one thing in the writing community.

Writers do not want honesty.

They want someone to rub their shoulders and tell them that they’re the next frickin Hemingway. They want only reviews that make their work sound like it’s the next Harry Potter series. It’s not! It’s clucking horrifying! Ok, maybe not that bad, but it can definitely use some work. I cannot tell you how many people have stopped following me on twitter, have placed me on ignore, and have flat out just lied about me all because I gave what I felt was a very honest and objective review of their work. I had someone unfollow and ignore me because I gave their work a 3.3/5 on a competitor’s website. Hey, last I checked, 3.3 out of 5 is not too shabby. It’s obviously not perfect, but I’m also not calling your work complete and utter dog [expletive deleted].

To all my fellow writers, I say this: Grow thicker skin! The world is not a nice place. People are mean and vicious and some of them will only want to tear you down. If you get a legitimate, critical review of your book, take those words and think about them and learn from them. As a writer, I do feel we are on the same team. Heck, the same family, and like a good and loving brother, I will tell you when you need to brush up on a few things. I’ve had people call my work complete crap and that’s ok. I’ve also had beneficial reviews and because of those I am becoming a better writer.

Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Ll...

Image via Wikipedia

Last Night

On a whim, I wrote a short story of about 5700 words. I’m not trying to sell it at all, just did it for fun. The link is right here. You can share it all you want. Enjoy.

A Moveable Feast

Ernest Hemingway-Memorial

Image by HenryFigueroa via Flickr

Finished it after I thought I lost the book, but thankfully, I forgot it in English class so it made its way back to me. I found a few interesting lines in the book and not the ones mentioned in popular movies. I noticed the way he described people; they way they ate, drank, the words he used to describe things such as a persons eyes or they way they drank too much when they never really meant to, and how they acted once drunk. His musing and descriptions make you feel as if you really know the person and places you at the table as the conversation progresses. I found the book enlightening, however it did take me a little time to get used to his style. I actually started this book before I started The Old Man and the Sea.

Book Expo - 2008

Image by Darien Library via Flickr

Previous to this work, I had finished an Anita Shreve book where the dialect and wording was very prim and proper. Hemingway was much more conversational, making you feel like it wasn’t something you were reading, but more like a party you were attending and you were given free reign over your choice of clique to mingle with that night. It was released after Hemingways death, but it’s very much Ernest.

The Old Man and the Sea

American Author Ernest Hemingway aboard his Ya...

Image via Wikipedia

Just finished it. Was very entertaining and you are with the old man then entire adventure. You felt for him when he was having a hard time not getting any fish and you were there with him for the epic battle, cheering him on. Sadly, you were also there for the swarming and the eventual lose. A very good book and at just 127 pages, most anyone can get through it relatively quickly. If you happen upon it, give it a look. Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for this work and it was also mentioned as a reason for him winning the Nobel in 1954.

First Real Assignment

Ernest Hemingway.jpg

Image by pennstatelive via Flickr

Been waiting awhile to get a real assignment out of my English class and it seems we finally have one. It’s a short story theme analysis and he is letting us choose either something out of our texts or something we find, but he has to pre-approve it. He seems to be a fan of Hemingway so I guess to play it safe I will go with one of his stories. Not sure which though, but he did state today in class that pretty much any Hemingway short story will do. aHas to be at least three pages long and in MLA format…this will be cake. The only thing I am worried about is he seems to very stalwart about his interpretations of stories and he comes across and someone who thinks only his interpretation is the right one. Today in class we were discussing a short story called Araby and I gave my analysis of it, but he felt I “wasn’t there” because what I took away from the story differed from what he took. Gotta play it a little safe here because my goal is to make an A in the class and not get into a debate over who is right and who is wrong.