How many of you have ever written a six-word story, twitterature, dribble, minisaga, drabble, or other piece of flash fiction?
What all of these terms share in common is the idea of fitting a full-formed story in a much smaller amount of space than is generally used for even short forms of storytelling.
It might be six words or a thousand, but it can easily be read in one sitting. Often it can be finished in a minute or two depending on your reading speed and the length of it!
I’m especially intrigued by six-word stories because of how challenging it can be to fit a twist into such a limited amount of space. This is a type of writing I’ve been playing around with as I slowly continue to work on that still-untitled, full-length science fiction novel.
There’s something fascinating to me about writing something this compact. I love the idea of condensing everything down to the bare minimum an audience needs to know in order to understand what’s going on while also hopefully surprising them in some way.
Here are a few famous examples of these types of tales:
For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn. —Ernest Hemingway (maybe).
Longed for him. Got him. Shit. —Margaret Atwood
All those pages in the fire. —Janet Burroway
In keeping with the spirit of micro-fiction, I purposely wrote this post so that it would contain fewer than 400 words. A 1000+ word post about this sort of topic simply doesn’t make sense to me.
Here are some of the six-word stories I’ve come up with this week.
Lungless? Then how are you smoking?
That door was a wall yesterday.
The wind whispered until I answered.
Last human. Lived happily ever after.
Called my dog. He hung up.
Sneezed. “bless you,” said my pillow.
Neanderthals survived, but so did humans.
I hope you all enjoyed them. If you’ve ever written a six-word story or other very short piece of fiction like this, I’d sure like to read it.