An assignment we received in the writing class I’m currently taking was actually fun and comes in handy right now. I remember way back in Middle and High School (either country, Germany or the US), I wasn’t a huge fan of writing assignments, but once we were allowed to be creative, I almost couldn’t stop. Hemingway created the six-word story, which is exactly what you’d think it is. You’re supposed to tell an entire story using only six words. Not nine, not four, exactly six. This way, you’re supposed to jog the creative side of your brain. I still find his example incredible:
“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” —Ernest Hemingway
“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” —Margaret Atwood
So here is my contribution:
- Slurred words in sleepless nights. Forever.
- Returning in darkness; pink neon signs.
- Dried the rainy road with blood.
- Turned to see myself. No reflection.
- Walked the dog; not my own.
- He left. Me: Wanted for murder.
- Skin on skin: Fried chicken Thursday.
- Turned up radio, drowning basement screams.
- Sun in my face. Almost alive.
- Tonight, you get to be me.
- I approach the surface. Frozen lake.
- Follow for follow, like for hate.
I noticed that most of these are dark or dramatic – probably the most fun or intriguing as a writer when it comes to these exercises. It’s incredibly difficult to form entire stories because you have to think yourself into the mind of the receiver/ reader and assume that he knows or doesn’t know the context of your thoughts. You can’t just assume that he knows or understands, but you can’t suggest he’s an imbecile either and spell everything out for him. It does help jog your creative thinking, however.
- Give it a try! No regrets. ;)
Day 22: 6-word stories