The Kansas City Rules

    September 11, 2002

As a cadet reporter on the Kansas City Star, Ernest Hemingway was given a style sheet containing four basic rules:
1.. Use short sentences
2.. Use short first paragraphs
3.. Use vigorous English
4.. Be positive, not negative

In his later years, Hemingway said, “Those were the best rules I ever learned in the business of writing. I’ve never forgotten them. No one with any talent, who feels and writes truly about the things he is trying to say, can fail to write well if he abides by them.”

In essence, this boils down to writing simply and naturally. Allow your true style to come out from hiding and begin to use your own unique writing voice.

By applying these Kansas City rules, we can all improve our writing and start getting results.

Try, for just a day, testing your work against these rulesand you’ll see what I mean.

D’Arcy Mayo is a freelance writer and originator of the Practical Spirituality concept and editor of the newsletter Spirituality In Action or e-mail.