Six Words

If you’re new to this, see my post about Hemingway’s theory on six words. I’m challenging myself again. This week’s entry for a story in six words:

Divorce: Twenty years, three kids. Done.

Is all this punctuation kind of cheating? It’s really tough to limit myself to six words. But, it does help cut the fat.

I wonder how the stories readers create in their minds, based on a six-word story, compares to the writer’s intent for the six-word story? It seems like it would practically be a 1:1 ratio of different stories. Come to think of it, I don’t know that I even have a complete story in my head with these six words. They’re more of a starting place if anything. Maybe that’s one purpose for the exercise.

In closing, here’s another example from an accomplished writer, Margaret Atwood:

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.

I’ll follow Ms. Atwood’s lead. Punctuation isn’t cheating.

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4 Responses to Six Words

  1. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been a fan of this short-short-short fiction for a while now, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the open-endedness offered to the reader, or because I’m just too lazy to commit to something longer. 🙂 Regardless, I’m loving yours this week. And I don’t think the punctuation is cheating…I think it actually helps craft the story the way the author wants it. Keep it up, girl!

  2. Liz says:

    I’m wondering if I love it for the laziness factor, too, Stephanie :)! Thanks for the kind words about this week’s attempt at six words and your perspective on punctuation. You’re right: it’s the authors choice!

  3. I agree–the punctuation functions as the adjectives you can’t use in so short a piece. Love yours!

  4. Liz says:

    Thanks, Jenni. I like the point you make about punctuation serving almost as adjectives!

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