It is a myth that writing comes out perfectly the first time. I don’t think I have ever heard of a writer penning a novel, posting it, and mailing or emailing it off to be printed. I discard and rework almost every part of my writing. Most of the time if I do not like a chapter I rewrite it entirely. I have several drafts of all of the chapters in my book. If I were to go as far as forty seven drafts of a single chapter, I might just have to give up. However, that is exactly what Hemingway did, on ONE novel.
A Farewell to Arms is not my favorite novel. In fact, I am not a huge Hemingway fan at all. His writing is brilliant, but his stories are far to bleak for me. Not that I despise bleakness, my novel ends quite awfully, but its hard to take at times when real life is just as dark.
I wanted to link a post to the article about the forty seven endings to remind the writer how much we have to give to finish well. How much the writer must persevere. How much the writer must refine and how much writing is not just about getting the grammar right.
Find sometime to write today.
2 thoughts on “The 47 Endings of Hemingway”
Ain’t that the truth… Its good to know because it puts your own attempts in context, almost like giving you permission to forgive yourself for sucking at your first try and understanding that perfection or something close to it takes time and effort. A cement floor requires smoothing when poured. Yeah, I know. My last sentence sounded a bit pretentious, but it made sense in my head. lol
Yes, I think it would be more pretentious to say I was inspired by my own post and that my feeble attempts might one day turn out something worthwhile. I guess it was Hemingway’s determination and the writer who penned the BBC article and not me. But, a great word of encouragement to us first timers for sure.