Hemingway’s One True Sentence–just what does it mean?

Sometimes, I wonder what exactly is a true sentence to use as a springboard for a work of fiction.

In the passage below from my short story, I see truth here, and yet this is fiction. Fiction is make-believe and therefore not true. The line below, “Life goes on,” is a true sentence. Not only is this statement true in real life when people are faced with tragedy, it’s also true in a character’s life, when faced with tragedy.

The following passage is from my short story-in-progress:

(I’m desperate to begin a new painting. It’s time. Reaching for a canvas, I see the storage box. I slip the lid off. The silver tinsel shines. I pick it up and there’s the star . . . from the top of our first Christmas tree.
“It lights the way,” Whit had said.
Tears rush from my eyes.
Calypso, girl, you don’t have time for tears. You’ve got a job to do, so get with it. The words come to me from somewhere out of my past. They renew my determination.  You’ll hold your head up.  Life goes on.
Grabbing a tissue, I wipe my eyes and shove the lid back on the box.)

© Freeda Baker Nichols

This entry was posted in WRITING.

2 comments on “Hemingway’s One True Sentence–just what does it mean?

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    Very true. Can’t wait to read your story, Freeda!


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