Super Flash Fiction
Posted by Elisa Beatty Jul 31 2013, 12:41 am
In the 1920s, some friends of Ernest Hemingway’s bet him he couldn’t write a complete story in just six words. This was his response:
“For sale: baby shoes, never used.”
You don’t exactly get a beginning, middle, and end, but you’ve got the essence of a powerful emotional situation boiled down to an irreducible kernel.
It’s an interesting exercise to try—to suggest the essence of a story with exactly half a dozen words, no more, no less. (Those of you feeling a slight sense of déjà vu at the moment may recall I did a similar post back in 2010 on the use of six words for writing memoirs: http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/a-life-in-six-words/. This is very similar, just a fiction version.)
There’s even a website devoted to this ultra-mini-fiction art form: http://www.sixwordstories.net/
Here are a few samples from that website:
Submitted by “Janet”: “Inside cupboard, naked goosebumps—husband home.”
From “Alexia”: “One candle, unattended. Only ashes remain.”
From “imarcesible”: “Family pictures with dad cut out.”
From “Ricky”: “Texted. Texted again. No reply. Texting….”
From “Peter H”: “Two returned. One carried the other.”
FYI: for the truly concise amongst us, there’s even a five-word story genre.
Here’s my challenge for you today: write a six-word story of your own!!
Don’t think too long, just give us six words suggestive of an interesting situation. It’ll definitely fit in the comment box, and you can tell all your friends, “I wrote a brand new story today!”