In the realm of literary giants, Ernest Hemingway stands as an icon of concise and powerful dialogue. His masterpiece, “The Sun Also Rises,” is a testament to his ability to capture the essence of characters through minimalistic yet impactful conversations. In this incongruous exploration, we delve into the Hemingway style by attempting to channel his Spartan dialogue approach into a conversation between two six-year-olds passionately discussing ice cream flavors.
The Hemingway Touch
Ernest Hemingway’s dialogue style is characterized by brevity, subtext, and an emphasis on what remains unsaid. His minimalist approach allows readers to infer emotions, relationships, and conflicts through the subtlety of language. “The Sun Also Rises” is a prime example of this craft, where dialogue becomes a window into the characters’ souls.
Dialogue Between Two Young Connoisseurs
Timmy: (licking an ice cream cone) Vanilla’s pretty good.
Sally: (raising an eyebrow) You kidding? Chocolate’s way better.
Timmy: Nah, vanilla’s simple, like, not trying too hard.
Sally: (smirking) Chocolate’s bold, like, it’s got character.
Timmy: (shaking head) Character? Vanilla’s like a classic novel, timeless.
Sally: (rolling eyes) Classic? Chocolate’s an adventure, daring and exciting.
Timmy: (smirking) Adventure? Vanilla’s like a calm lake, peaceful and serene.
Sally: (grinning) Calm? Chocolate’s a rollercoaster, thrilling and unpredictable.
In this dialogue, the Hemingway influence is evident in the simplicity of language and the subtext beneath each statement. The characters express their preferences with brevity, allowing readers to glean a sense of their personalities and the unspoken tension between the two young connoisseurs.
Applying Hemingway’s Wisdom
- Cut the Excess: Hemingway advised to “write hard and clear about what hurts.” Apply this principle to your dialogue. Eliminate unnecessary words and focus on the core of the conversation.
- Imply Emotions: Hemingway’s characters often expressed more through what they didn’t say. Allow the subtext to convey the emotions underlying your characters’ words.
- Capture Tone: Hemingway’s dialogue captures the tone of the characters and the atmosphere. Be mindful of how your characters speak and the overall mood you wish to convey.
Embracing the Hemingway Challenge
While it may seem incongruous to channel Hemingway in a dialogue between two six-year-olds discussing ice cream, the exercise provides valuable insights into the power of minimalist expression. Hemingway’s approach teaches us to focus on the essence of communication, allowing readers to discover the depth beneath the surface. So, whether it’s war-torn expatriates or pint-sized ice cream enthusiasts, the Hemingway challenge invites writers to distill their dialogue to its purest form, letting the unsaid speak volumes.