Saturday, April 13, 2013

Six-word memoirs & novels

Hemingway is thought to have written one of the first six-word novels over a bet with friends. The manuscript reads like this:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.  

There's something really inviting about the six-word stories. Such writing forces us to think deeply about our words and to play with a variety of combinations. Composing these short-short stories gets at the notion of revision when working with young writers--with any writer, for that matter. Here are a few of my favorite six-word stories:

Kiss gone astray, hell to pay. 
We thought the gun wasn't loaded. 
One gun, two shots, three dead. 
Sheik wins bachelorette auction, "prize" absconds.
After she died, he came alive. 
My husband is invisible. No, really. 

My friend Tanya Baker of the National Writing Project, a former UMaine colleague, showcased a few websites that feature six-word stories. A fellow NWPer, Paul Oh, created one of the sites. For me, the videos featuring high school kids and their writing brought back a slew of memories. Check them out:

Clarity Through Brevity: Integrating Six-Word Memoirs  

Making as Writing/Writing as Making: Six Word Memoirs

Now try a few of your own. You never know:

Pulitzer winner credits six-word novel prompts.

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