Legend has it that when challenged to compose an entire tale in six words, author Ernest Hemingway answered, "For Sale: baby sneakers, never worn." In this spirit, Smith Magazine challenged writers "renowned and unknown" to condense their own life tales into six words or less. The results are fascinating and poignant. Here are my attempts.
I am the father of two children who are determined not be like me.
My first child was born with severe medical problems. My wife died giving birth to her. I had no choice but to leave my family behind and start a new life far away from them. I have never seen them since then.
The second child was raised by his grandparents because his parents were unable to care for him. They too had been left by someone they loved. As he grew up, he never really knew his parents. They were killed when he was only four years old. He has hated men ever since then.
If both of my children had lived, they would have been raised by strangers. I tried hard to be there for them but we all know what happened last time I went back to visit my family.
I think about them all the time. I wish I could bring them home but now they are gone forever.
Hemingway, Ernest The most famous six-word narrative is sometimes attributed to Ernest Hemingway (though there is scant proof that he really wrote it): "For sale: baby sneakers." Never worn. A painful story is communicated in six simple sentences—not just from the few words, but also from what is left out. The phrase is used as a marketing tool by authors who want to sell articles or books. They often promote them with the tagline "for sale: item description."
There are other famous six-word stories, including one written by Hemingway himself. But his little ditty has captured the public's imagination more than any others.
He was born on fourth of July in 1899 into a wealthy family in Cuba. When he was very young, they moved to America, where his father worked as a doctor. He had two brothers and one sister. When he was 11 years old, his father died of a heart attack while swimming at the beach near their home in Florida. This may have caused him to decide that living life to the fullest was important because there would be no one to tell him to stop.
At age 18 he went to Italy for college and then back to Cuba as a physician. However, he didn't like medicine so he decided to travel again. This time he visited many places in Europe for about a year and a half. Upon returning home, he started writing about his adventures.
"baby shoes, never worn." is a six-word narrative commonly credited to Ernest Hemingway, yet the connection is unconfirmed. It's a piece of flash fiction. The first two sentences are written in the first person, while the rest is in the third person.
It has been suggested that it may have inspired Stephen King to write "A Very Short Story" for his collection Night Shift. However, the only real connection between the stories appears to be that they both involve babies' shoes; neither one is a direct sequel or prequel to the other.
In addition, it has also been suggested that the inspiration for the short story came from an actual experience of Hemingway. In 1959, he published a book called True Tales of the Cuban Revolution which included a story called "The Last Shot". This story was later adapted into a film of the same name in 1993 by Spanish director Juan Antonio Bardem.
Hemingway based this story on his own experiences during the Cuban revolution. According to some sources, this is actually how he was able to obtain so much information about the revolutionary process which led up to its collapse. He visited Cuba several times between 1957 and 1960 to report on these events for Life magazine and the New York Times.
Ernest Hemingway, a journalist-turned-novelist, was recognized for his crisp, controlled writing style. As a result, he might be the author of the most famous six-word short story of all time. In "The Sun Also Rises", he uses only six words to describe how the Spanish lifestyle and society changed him: "For sale: baby shoes.
Hemingway's minimalist approach became popular after its introduction in 1925. Before that time, writers used many more words to paint pictures or to expand on ideas. For example, William Faulkner, another important writer of his time and country, used about 50 words per page.
Minimalism is useful because it focuses attention on the story itself instead of being distracted by lengthy descriptions or unnecessary narrative threads. However, some people believe that minimalist writing is not interesting because they think you can get the same effect with less writing.
In fact, less is more when it comes to storytelling. The fewer words you use, the better because it gives readers a chance to connect with your story on an emotional level rather than on an intellectual one.
Some modern-day authors have also adopted this style. J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, wrote three books before she released her first novel. It took her seven years to write the series!