The six word story meme

I picked this up over at Writing Forums:

Apparently Hemmingway once wrote a six-word ‘story’ and called it his best work. Wired Magazine challenged a phalanx of SF/F and horror authors to try this. Some examples:

Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
– Stan Lee

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
– Alan Moore

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
– Ronald D. Moore

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
– Vernor Vinge

It’s behind you! Hurry before it
– Rockne S. O’Bannon

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
– Stephen Baxter

Nevertheless, he tried a third time.
– James P. Blaylock

Lost, then found. Too bad.
– Graeme Gibson

Deadline postponed. Five words enough…?
– David Brin

Mind of its own. Damn lawnmower.
– David Brin

Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
– Ken MacLeod

Finally, he had no more words.
– Gregory Maguire

There were only six words left.
– Gregory Maguire

In the beginning was the word.
– Gregory Maguire

He read his obituary with confusion.
– Steven Meretzky

Steve ignores editor’s word limit and
– Steven Meretzky

Some of those above are great. I love the concept – it’s like distilling flash fiction down to a single, viscous blob. Here are some of my own efforts:

As the door closed, darkness swallowed.

Far away, a flash of supernova.

Blood dripped, then ran, then poured.

Through a haze of pain, light.

His last words were, “What’s this?”

It’s actually quite a good exercise for ideas. It has a slight haiku vibe to it. Have a go yourself and leave your masterpieces as comments below. Pass it on with your own blog if you like the idea – consider yourself tagged.

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