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Arts, Media

This Story's Just Six Words Long

Posted by Omar / January 31, 2007

Hemmingway.jpgOne of the widely accepted literary maxims is that good writing is economical. As budding writers, aren't we all striving for concision, preferable as that would be to the flowery purple prose of decadent and portentous wordplay, indulging in sheer vanity and betraying the cause of clarity.

Or better stated - Good writing is economical. As budding writers we all strive for concision.

Anyway, I got to thinking about all of this because I read a great anecdote about tough-guy novelist Ernest Hemingway. A rival author is said to have challenged Hemingway, supposedly in a bar, to write a short story in six words. He vigorously took up the challenge and proclaimed the six-word story his best prose ever. Here is the finished story:

For sale: baby shoes, never used.

Is that not both transcendental and c'est cool all at once?

I'm issuing a challenge to our readers, keeners and Midnight Poutiners all around. Try coming up with a good six-word story. It's like the Power Yoga of literary exercises. I've tried all day and here are a few I came up with.

Billy snuck out, forgetting his directions.

He hungered, but did not waver.

Too late, she sighed. It's over.

Mother left. I followed her trail.

Now humbled, he trolled the dumpster.

I didn't say they were any good, simply that they're great exercise for the mind. Come up with your own, heck post them in the comments if you like them. Let's celebrate economy and writing, and with that I'll now shadup.

Discussion

11 Comments

FX / January 31, 2007 at 03:38 pm
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Si seulement il comprenait le français.
cat / January 31, 2007 at 09:44 pm
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Her body shuddered, the machine stopped.
Jer / February 1, 2007 at 09:47 am
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That's not really mine, is it?
scott / February 1, 2007 at 01:04 pm
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there was nuclear war. the end.
Susan / February 22, 2007 at 11:57 am
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The Bollywood plot was embarrassingly relevant.
golu dolls / March 20, 2019 at 12:26 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 20, 2019 at 12:27 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 20, 2019 at 12:27 am
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nice post
Herbal Powder / March 20, 2019 at 12:27 am
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nice post

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