6 words

If you asked me what great writing looked like, I’d tell you a good story minus the fluff. That means skip the purple, pretty prose about the perfect sunset and get to the people, dammit! Like that alliteration? I got plenty. Anyway, I’m talking about a minimalist style—the kind that gets to the heart without pausing for the unnecessary. Of course, this is just my humble opinion, but if the green, frilly drapes don’t have anything to do with the story, I don’t need to know if they are green or frilly.

Hemingway was the master of minimalism. Matter of fact, he could tell a story in six words. SIX WORDS! And if you’ve ever read his novels, you’d have noticed he used very few adjectives or adverbs and gave just enough background description to put you where you needed to be. Not many writers have achieved that kind of success. I’m definitely still working on it. It’s brevity, people. That’s the key to excellent writing.

Want to see work from another writer who mastered the six-word story? Here’s what beautiful and talented, Erica Freckleton, created:

Pushing her over, his feet slipped.

Holy…amazing, right? So powerful and you know exactly what’s going on in six words. Genius, really. If you so desire, you can see more work from Erica here:

On that note, here’s a little challenge for all of you. For my birthday—yup, I’m gonna go ahead and use that card—I’d love for all of you to take the six-word challenge. Write a story, using only six words, complete with a beginning, middle, and end. Tough, but I have some pretty talented friends out there, both writers and dreamers. If you’re feeling extra brave, post your story here under the comments section.


And I can guarantee others will want to read them, too. So get writing and have fun!


14 thoughts on “Brevity

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