Monday, June 14, 2010

Six Words - Brevity is the Soul of Wit (and Wisdom)

My father passed along the following e-mail from his friend Rick Hebert, a Houston teacher of 9th graders with reading disabilities:

"Here are a few of those “6-Word Stories” that “Ricky’s Kids” wrote; I’m quite proud of these guys…of course, I had to spell a few words for them (and keep repeating, “6 words, 6 words only, no more than 6 words, no less than 6 words), but…"

My Mind Wanders; Hope It Returns

“Perfect” Takes Time I Don’t Have

Life is Fair; People Are Not

Others Are Losers; I Found You

We Are a Lack of Words

She Fears No Evil; She Lies

He Dies Every Day Doing Nothing

Can’t Stop Loving, But He’s Bogus

….and my 2 favorites

What Happens Here Stays on YouTube

American Dream Running Out of Time


Six word stories belong to a recently-named genre called "flash fiction" or "microfiction" and originated with a story that may or may not have been written by Hemingway: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

There is now a website called Six Word Stories that has a collection of these stories categorized by author and subject. Here are a few I found under my favorite subject "word play":

The day unfolds. I fold laundry. - R. Armour

Girl on fire. An old flame? - nihualahain

Love triangle. You get the point. - Dan

P.S. "Brevity is the soul of wit" is a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet that just happens to be six words.


Anonymous said...


It's one of those things that I think everyone should do daily, like haiku or that sort of short, manageable literary exercise... I didn't know it was a sort of "established" literary genre, though.

Keep up the great work!


Laura Payne said...

Thanks for reading smuggledwords. I agree; Six Word Stories make for a great daily literary exercise (or nightly, if you are having a hard time falling asleep).

Anonymous said...

I made a brief comment and cut and paste for my Facebook to my ESL students (adults that cannot always attend class). Flash fiction is great! Love your blog.

Laura Payne said...

Thanks Candace. Keep on reading.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...