How to Write Six Word Stories

July 10, 2015 by 1 Comment

How to Write Six Word StoriesAt our last meeting we decided that at our next meeting, which is also the same date as Ernest Hemmingway‘s birthday, we would ask our members to bring along their six word stories to share at the start of the night. However, as some people weren’t sure how to write a six word story we thought we’d help with this writing advice article. Below the break you’ll find all the answers you need.

Why Six Word Stories?

Famously Hemmingway was challenged to come up with a story in only six words. He answered the challenge with his tale:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

Since then many writers have tried writing their own with entire websites, such as Six Word Stories, dedicated to the format. A great place to go and find some inspiration before you start writing.

How Do You Write Six Word Stories

The key to writing a six word story is, according to Joe Bunting on The Write Practice,

to find a sentence or two that might be intriguing and tells a story without telling an entire story.

There are many ways of finding this sentence. One of Joe‘s suggestions is to play with a Magnetic Poetry kit, a collection of word magnets that you can move around your fridge. We would suggest just watching the world go by and noting down the things you see. Smith Magazine suggest looking at your own life.

Six Word Memoirs

If you still don’t know where to start check out Smith Magazine‘s video below about Six Word Memoirs. Just describe your life, or a key moment from it in six words. Watch the video below and I’m sure the ideas will start to flow. Why not submit your Six Word Memoirs to Smith Magazine‘s Six Word Memoirs website and possibly have your tale published in one of their books.

How To Get To Six Word

The hardest part of writing a six word story is writing only six words. One way of getting down to six is remove all the un-important words. Going back Hemmingway‘s example at the top of the page, he never describes the baby shoes in question, he leaves the reader to image what they look like. Another way of reducing down the word count is Joe Bunting‘s idea of using contractions. They’re is one word less than they are.

However, not all stories will fit into six words. For example:

Hobbits drop ring into fiery mountain

does lose a large amount of the wonder and world building of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Why not try your own Six Word Stories and post them in the comments below!

How to Write Six Word Stories by @WLWriters (Tweet this advice)

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