Sunday, March 25, 2007

Six Word Novels

By C.L. Beck
© 2007

A “six word novel” is a writing exercise in which you create the plot for a story using only six words. You've probably seen the well-known one written by Ernest Hemingway: "For sale: baby shoes, never used."

I don’t claim to know the details of Hemingway’s plot, because—well, actually, I’m not sure there were any. It was just a writing exercise. But my mind instantly wondered … who kidnapped the baby from the hospital? And why? Where had they taken him? And what color were those baby shoes?

That’s the point of the exercise—to get your mind shakin’ and movin’.

Because I thought you’d enjoy them, below are a few “six word novels” to get you started.

Magician fired. Nothing up his sleeve!

Cat scratches. Baby cries. Fur coat.

Sale: Scuba tank with shark bite.

Rural America. Smell the dairy air.

Feathers, manure and money. Turkey farming.

Music loud, time fades, hearing aids!

Horse bucks, cowboy flies, ambulance ride.

Theater fire. Magician disappears, hare singed!

Try writing few of your own; they’re a lot of fun to do.

And thanks to my husband, Russ, who allowed me to share a few of his six word novels as part of this blog.


Marsha Ward said...

That Hemingway example sounds like *A Farewell to Arms*.

Darvell Hunt said...

Write. Write. Rejection. Rejection. Write. Published!

C. L. Beck said...

If you promise not to tell, I'll whisper a secret. (

Pssst ... I'm not a Hemingway
fan:-) So, if it is "A Farewell to Arms", I'd never know the difference.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

PS: Sorry I'm so late in responding, I was out of town with no computer access.

C. L. Beck said...

Love it. That's a great six word novel. I'm sure the "published" part is soon to be true in your case!

PS: Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. As you know, I've been gone.