As the story goes, Ernest Hemingway once wrote this 6-word tale to settle a bar debt. It’s an extreme example of Flash Fiction, which The Free Dictionary defines as “fiction characterized by its extreme brevity, as measured by its length in words”
It’s also called Sudden Fiction, Microfiction, Micro-Story, Postcard Fiction, and Short Short Story.”
Ernest Hemingway’s story is extraordinary because it truly is a story. It has a beginning, a middle and an end -- all in six words. There's the mystery of what happened to the baby. Was it born? Why were the shoes never worn? Did the baby just go barefoot? Or does this story hint at some tragedy?
I’m hoping I can challenge you to tell a story with just six words and that you’ll post it in this blog’s comments field.
To get you started, here are 13 examples from “Not Quite What I Was Planning,” a book of six-word memoirs published by the SMITH magazine.
1.“Cursed with cancer. Blessed with friends.” Hannah Davies
2.“I’m just here for the beer.” Alex Vournas
3. “I answer to the name Mom.” Lynne Chesterman
4.“ Life has gone to the dogs.” Ted Rheingold
5. “Memory was my drug of choice.” Pea Hicks
6. “Unhappy joke writer hugs her chihuahua.” Jessica Salmonson
7. “Still here despite logic and likelihood.” Elisha Marshall
8. “Didn’t fit in then; still don’t.” Bob Fingerman
9. “Buried gold long ago. Can’t find.” Maureen Barnes
10. “Put my whole self in, shook about.” Melissa Delzio
11. “Came out. Went in. Came out.” Earl Adams
12. “Saw the sky and started walking.” Mark Sundeen
13. “Lucky in everything else but love.” Eliot Sheridan
Now for your opportunity: Please share a story using only six words.
Having problems? If you’re not sure what to write, go to www.sixwordmemoir.com to see SMITH magazine’s ever-growing collection of memoirs. Or check out “Not Quite What I Was Planning,” a fun book to read, full of profound, silly, thoughtful, provocative life stories all in a sentence or two.
To start you off, here’s mine: “Sons in school. Time to write.”
And here’s a writing buddy’s: “Ex missed curve. Insurance pays off.”
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