“I just saw my reflection blink.”

Posted by on Sep 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The author of this sentence has the idea of a short story down to an artform. I’m uncertain of the origin of this six-word short story. However, it packs quite a punch. In six words, the author, which was a winner of one many six-word story contests, gives us an entire story. In six words, the author introduced us to an entire world. We know, from six words, that the protagonist is probably scared out of his or her mind. We can infer that in the world this person lives in, whether it’s our own or another like it, reflections don’t blink. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth mentioning.

So, what’s my point? My point is that we often use too many words when we can use a few. Notice, I didn’t say writers always use too many words. Some people don’t flesh out their stories, and others don’t add enough description in the same number of words. In either case, being succinct and deliberate in your prose will only make it better.

The six-word story isn’t a new concept: Many authors in the past have written a story using as few words as they can. Ernest Hemingway wrote one that stated: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Margaret Atwood talked about relationships in hers, and while Dorothy Parker couldn’t be bothered to follow trends, she had a seven-word one-liner: “Men never make passes at women with glasses.”

So, why not try it? In the comments below, give me your best six-word story.

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