Six-word stories


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Six-word stories

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Sep 26, 2007, 11:21 am

I imagine most of you have heard of these. You attempt to write an entire story with only six words. There are plenty of examples online, but I'll post four that I just wrote here:

Car, door, seat, key, ignition: BOOM.

I'm white. Wifey's white. Baby's mulatto...?

"Who're you?" said the dead athiest.

Redneck surgeon: "Pass the duct tape."

This is a fun mental exercise that also happens to hone your word-choosing skills. Have fun, Writer-Readers!

-Danny Birt

Sep 26, 2007, 11:34 am

Not quite the same thing, but along the same lines, are one sentence stories. I love to pop onto this website from time to time.

Sep 27, 2007, 8:36 am

Boy met girl. Flirted, fought, ...

(Work out the last word for yourself. I'm uptight and there are some words I just don't like using.)

Sep 27, 2007, 9:33 am

Pregnant woman. Who is the father.

Sep 27, 2007, 1:32 pm

Redneck surgeon: "Pass the duct tape."
I love that.

I tried a few last year. Ugh. Yeah, not really my forte:

Won lottery. Now Jed's a millionaire.

Her thigh. His hand. Her fist.

Short but sweet: Honey, I'm gone.

Sep 27, 2007, 6:12 pm

This kind of reminds me of Haiku. Interesting idea.

Cat stalks, climbs. Birds fly. Stuck.

Clicking, clicking. Children screaming. Ride's over.

Shadows. Footsteps echo? Heart beats. Run.

Sep 27, 2007, 6:31 pm

#6 - I'd always wondered how cats so often ended up in that situation. I can just picture how the cat's face would look at the end of your story: "Aw, man! ...wait, where am... AW, MAN!"

Sep 27, 2007, 8:30 pm

>7 buchleser:, Take out one word and that could be a story! Say...

Aw, man! ...wait, where...? AW, MAN!

Sep 28, 2007, 2:16 pm

How about six sentence stories?

Oct 2, 2007, 11:29 pm

take zolof. wife leaves. become spiritual


not 6 words but a good shortie:

come to Florida
on vacation
Leave Florida
on probation
Return to Florida
on violation.


dog-cat. cat-rat. rat-lawyer.

Oct 10, 2007, 11:49 am

Bloody hungover. Husband yelling. Kitchen knife.

Does that make sense?

Edited: Oct 11, 2007, 1:21 am

This reminds me of a couple volumes of "fifty-five fiction" I have, edited by Steve Moss. The first one is called The World's Shortest Stories.

Oct 11, 2007, 3:04 am

Interesting challenge. I'm not a writer, but I thought I'd try my hand at being a multi-genre author.

Headshot, headshot, headshot, missed! Zombies win.

Grit, dirt. Soldiers die. Bittersweet victory.

One ring? No ring. Sauron defeated.

Continuum attacked! Timecops kill other emperor.

Awe-inspiring landscape and fascinating people. War.

"I was there," said the mountain.

Oct 17, 2007, 3:18 pm

Is this idea based on the Hemingway story?

Oct 17, 2007, 3:33 pm

I'm unsure, anowalk. I've seen them before, along with many other length stories (55-word stories being the most prominent). It's not my original idea, for sure.

Oct 17, 2007, 3:33 pm

...but since you asked, would you care to post a story or two for us?

Oct 18, 2007, 8:25 am

#3: Boy met girl. Flirted, fought, ...

(Work out the last word for yourself. I'm uptight and there are some words I just don't like using.)

That's hilarious!

I can't remember where I heard this:

Baby shoes for sale. Never used.

Edited: Oct 18, 2007, 8:56 am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 18, 2007, 8:55 am

That was the Hemingway story that started the whole thing. I think the wording was a bit different, though. It might have been "For Sale: Baby shoes. Never used." But I'm too lazy to look it up...

Oct 18, 2007, 8:58 am

Sorry, useless posts and edit in #18.

Here is source for the Hemingway story (described as flash fiction):

Oct 18, 2007, 9:17 am

Kid's pet. Much loved. Great supper!

(Comes from the time my grandfather killed the goose.)

Oct 19, 2007, 9:21 am

Kid's pet. Much loved. Great supper!

OMG! lol

Thanks for the Hemingway help.

Oct 19, 2007, 12:29 pm

Man reading. Wind blows. Toupee flies.

Elevator rises. Man farts. Blames kid.

Dark hood. Red pupils. Morgue breath.

Oct 19, 2007, 12:58 pm

WIRED did this (as a contest, maybe?) about a year ago.

The two I remember are -

Margaret Atwood's:

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.

and Charles Stross'

Internet 'wakes up'? Ridic-
(no carrier).

Oct 20, 2007, 7:18 am

All of these have me lol! It's amazing what you can convey in six words. Very funny.

Oct 22, 2007, 2:12 pm

Oooh.... Now I have to try!

Bored cat, ball on stairs. Whoops!

She woke up old one day.

The phone rang. Where was I?

The houseplant died. So did friendship.

Are these stories? Or random sh*t?

Oct 22, 2007, 2:42 pm

#26 Rana-

I think your best one of the bunch was "She woke up old one day." It's singling out a point in time, yet it also begs the question(s) of what happened before/after. It allows for change.

The cat made me smile, too. :)

Oct 22, 2007, 3:16 pm

#26: The houseplant was not watered enough.

Oct 26, 2007, 12:40 pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 26, 2007, 12:40 pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 26, 2007, 12:41 pm

I think "She woke up old one day" is a great start for a novel!

I just thought of the unoriginal: He came. He saw. He conquered.

Oct 26, 2007, 1:01 pm

Bald head. High branch. Big pigeon.

Oct 26, 2007, 3:02 pm

Disturbed. Shakes Head. Looks for more.

Oct 26, 2007, 6:49 pm

Cat's claws, dog's teeth, livingroom destroyed.

Oct 29, 2007, 6:14 pm

Here are my quick ideas:

Tempting mango. Sharp knife. No bandaids.

Suspicious lump. Doctor visit. Good news!

My brother's long-haired cat. Ah-choo!

Opressive guilt. The cross. Complete forgiveness.

He's thoughtless. He's profound. He's mine!

I will love this man. Forever.

Oct 30, 2007, 9:24 am

re: Hemingway's story--"For Sale: Baby shoes. Never used."

So Sad.

Along the same lines:
Our miracle never happened. Nobody knows.

Nov 6, 2007, 2:44 pm

Typing story. "K" key gets stuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Nov 6, 2007, 3:17 pm

Beautiful eyes. Great legs. Smoking gun.

Nov 6, 2007, 3:35 pm

media1001, is that memoir? :)

Edited: Nov 6, 2007, 7:24 pm

#39: heh heh. Appears that way. These are actually pretty fun to create. Here's a few more:

Driving fast, full coffee cup...ACHOO!

Laughter punishable by execution. Hilarity ensues.

Red wire?! Green wire?! Red...BOOM!

Living. Loving. Laughing. Repeat until death.

-- M1001

Nov 6, 2007, 8:42 pm

In honor of Election Day:

Blather. Vote. Repeat. Blather. Vote. Repeat.

Nov 7, 2007, 7:52 am

Told him the truth. Bad idea.

Nov 8, 2007, 9:07 am

Many of the postcards at are mini-stories.

If you're into short, short fiction, try Flash Fiction for stories ranging from one to three pages.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, a free online writing workshop encouraging original 100-word short stories.

Nov 8, 2007, 9:13 am

Of course there's:

"I came. I saw. I conquered."

But that's translating three words.

Nov 21, 2007, 11:50 am

Been there, done that, won't again.

Although it could deal with many things, this refers to the 4 a.m. day after Thanksgiving sales.

Nov 21, 2007, 11:53 am

Re: Baby Shoes

I told that at a ladies' meeting I was speaking at and there was a definite (unanimous?) groan from the audience at that story. Funny how 6 words can touch the heart.

Feb 2, 2008, 4:43 pm

White stripes, a road. No pelicans.

Hey! This is fun.

Feb 3, 2008, 10:05 am

All night long, waking, touching --

Schoolbus coming
Gotta hurry Ohno!

Slamming door, screeching tires
alone again.

Green lettuce
little rabbits
empty garden.

Traffic light
turning yellow
watch out!

Pretty kitty, black, white stripes -Phew!

6 word stories too addictive, goodby.

Feb 3, 2008, 6:10 pm

Cute puppy. Small bladder. Expensive rug.

No break fluid. Angry former girlfriend.

Zoo. Kids. Lions. No more carpool!

Feb 4, 2008, 9:25 pm

Hello? Who's there? Click. Click. Boom!

What's that smell? NO DON'T LIGHT....

Feb 4, 2008, 9:40 pm

Can I have a six word story trilogy? :o)

Tired mom. Comfy bed. Sleepless child.

Amorous dad. Sleepless child. Broken mood.

Sleeping child. Now I have insomnia.

52Dawnrookey First Message
Feb 5, 2008, 5:26 pm

The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007, ed. by Dave Eggers, has a section called "Best American six word memoirs." Here are some of my favorites:


"Lucky in love, unlucky in metabolism"

"Found true love, married someone else"

Ex-wife and contractor now have house."

And Mine:
Planned on writing but started teaching.

Feb 5, 2008, 5:27 pm

love this one!

Feb 5, 2008, 10:52 pm

Six word memoirs, I never heard of these. So cute.

Smile, erotic dream; awake, wrong partner.

Biographers write non-fiction, autobiographers write fiction.

Twenty-something "Tweety" tatoo, sixty-something odd bird.

I like the memoir theme.

Apr 14, 2008, 3:11 pm

"I saw. I loved. She didn't."

Apr 14, 2008, 3:12 pm

"The ''gun'' was a plastic toy."

Apr 14, 2008, 3:23 pm

"Once this planet was alive."

“Kids who tell, go to Hell.”

"Home help needed. Must like rubber"

“What does this red button do?”

"Dental surgeon required. No experience necessary. "

"Not everyone we bury is dead."

"Can anyone here fly a plane?"

"But that makes him her father!"

"Nobody needs lifeboats, the Titanic's unsinkable"

"Blackmail is such an ugly word."

“It's only murder if it's human.”

"Three months. Four months, tops. Sorry."

“Listen, this plan is foolproof!”

"Joan continued cashing Harold's security checks."

"Nobody noticed the stain getting worse."

"One day, all the Jews disappeared."

"They're testing Chernobyl's safety systems tomorrow."

"High above Hiroshima, a tiny aeroplane."

"He wrote as he lived. Badly."

Apr 14, 2008, 4:04 pm


Apr 14, 2008, 10:21 pm

Problem. Fix. Now a bigger problem.

For a moment, all was OK.

Apr 14, 2008, 11:17 pm

Who knew the boat had holes?

Apr 15, 2008, 12:52 am

He says he loves me. Why?

I remember last night. Do you?

Tall. Dark. Handsome. Mine? Yes, please.

Moroccan sunset. Two lovers. Perfect ending.

Apr 15, 2008, 1:02 am

How many beers? Who ARE you?

Apr 15, 2008, 3:26 am

Where did it go? Home. Forever.

Empty bed. You left your shape.

She smiles, imprisoned in a photograph.

Apr 15, 2008, 9:17 am

why? A breakthrough, then another wall.

to sum up, optimism wasn't enough.

enlightenment, enrapture...wait, what's that? Damn.

Apologies, I am frustration in progress.

Apr 15, 2008, 10:06 am

Sleep? No. Graduate student. Coffee, please.

Apr 16, 2008, 3:11 am

Lose keys. Lose head. Duct tape.

Window. Light breeze. Hard shove. Splat.

Cat. My friend. Cancer. A tear.

May 2, 2008, 8:48 am

She said yes. She regretted it.

May 14, 2008, 11:16 am

They killed him. He came back.

Edited: Jun 3, 2008, 4:44 pm

What's that, oh no, floatation device!
Weird word, got me.. ehm stuck..

Jun 21, 2008, 10:07 pm

Once upon a time, the end.

Eyes lock, arms embrace, lips meet.

Jun 22, 2008, 12:29 am

The bird soars into the windshield.

Jun 27, 2008, 10:47 am

Ronald McDonald's head, between two bits of bread

Silk sheets and After Eight mints

Sea, sand, sun. Drinks, dance. Divorce

I'll never get married again.

Jun 30, 2008, 8:51 am

That last one is only five words, reading_fox. Writers need to push the limits. ;-)

Jul 1, 2008, 10:48 am

Out of the darkness, it came.

Her nose in the daisies, smiling.

Tight grip, slippery palms, hard landing.

Roadtrip, hair tangled by the wind.

Jul 2, 2008, 6:26 pm

Audacious, Audacity! BTW, In 73 I should have said break rules.

Jul 3, 2008, 8:31 pm

That is a very impressive six-word story. I love it.

Jul 5, 2008, 12:39 pm

I did this in a blog meme. It was your biography in six words /or less./ Mine:

Jul 6, 2008, 12:58 pm

Hermit_9 and WickedlyLovely, Thank You!

I really enjoyed coming up with them. What a fun thread!