On this day, in 1961, Hemingway killed himself. Consider this a tribute of sorts.
So there’s this new browser app that allows you to write/drop content into a text box and click “Edit” to determine if your writing is “bold and clear.”
It’s called Hemingway.
- Yellow highlight means long, complex sentence.
- Red highlight means dense, very complicated sentences.
- Blue highlights indicate adverbs (remove them).
- Purple is for words that can be more simple. (Purple prose, get it?)
- Green marks passive voice.
I ran The Efficient Writer: A Blunt Guide through it, and the grade was a seven.
You should gun for anything lower than a ten.
As you can see, I had one hard-to-read sentence (which was a quote), two very-hard-to-read sentences, and one passive sentence.
For kicks I thought to test one of Hemingways short story: Clean, Well-Lighted Place. You can see the results in the image below.
Here were other short stories I tested.
Only one sentence was hard to read, no really hard sentences to read, but seven adverbs (you should use fewer than twenty-three!), ten words that could be simpler, and nine passive voice sentences (aim for fewer than thirty-one!).
“Hills Like White Elephants”
Then I noticed something about the results. Turns out the score is based upon a ratio of word count because …
“Snows of Kilimanjaro”
This story scored a 29, 59, 59, 22, 22 … which might look like this did a whole lot worse, but this was a much longer story (about ten times longer) … and so the number of hard sentences you can write, so on, goes up.
Moral of the story: Yes, Hemingway passes the Hemingway.
Give the Hemingway app try (and the writer, too, if you don’t know his work), and see if it doesn’t make your writing bold and clear. Report back here before the end of the day.
This post originally posted here.