And hence the legend of very short stories begins with six words from Hemingway. SMITH, an online magazine, had a reader contest that turned out to be so popular that the system almost crashed under the weight of 500+ submissions a day. Now the best ones have been compiled into a book titled Not Quite What I Was Planning.
The contest? Your life story in six words.
A few good ones culled from the brief article in the Feb 25 New Yorker:
“Yes, you can edit this biography.” (Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia)
“Eat mutate aura amateur auteur true.” (Jonathan Lethem)
“Former child star seeks love, employment.” (Justin Taylor)
“Well, I thought it was funny.” (Stephen Colbert)
“Brought it to a boil, often.” (Mario Batali)
“Not quite what I was planning…” (Summer Grimes, a 25-year old hairdresser in St Paul, whose submission was chosen for the book’s title.)
Although the ones riffed by the article’s author were pretty funny too. I think the entire article was written in six-word sentences!
“Born in California. Then nothing happened.”
“Birth, childhood, adolescence, adolescence, adolescence, adolescence…”
“Canoe guide, only got lost once.”
Trying to write your own? Advice from the editor:
“Try not to think too hard.”
“Never made it to med school.”