Red Right Hand: THIS STORY IS SIX WORDS LONG
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

THIS STORY IS SIX WORDS LONG

I so totally love Wired magazine. Yes, if I could marry it, I would. I'm sure it would be extremely beneficial. I know it makes more than I do. There might be some issues, but I'm sure we could work it out.

Inspired by a legend about Ernest Hemingway, they went and got noted writers from TV, comics, film and these things without pictures that they call books (though all notably skewed toward sci-fi/fantasy) and had them write some six-word stories. They also got noted designers like Chip Kidd to use them to design something not unlike book covers for those six word stories. As seen here.

I wanted to try it too. Not just the story, but the design thing. Allow me the hedge now. Obviously, I am not a professional designer and there is clearly a reason for this, but it's a fun diversion. Make with the clicky on the images for (slightly) larger versions.


It's a fun little exercise that doesn't take a lot of investment. If you can't evoke something (anything, an image, an idea, whatever) in six words, you're probably not going to be able to do it with more than six. (And if you can get your screenplay pitch down to six words, you fucking rawk).

My favorites from the Wired piece are fairly predictable, I suppose.


Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
- Joss Whedon

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
- Alan Moore

“I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.”
- Howard Chaykin

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
- Neal Stephenson



And, of course, we give...ahem...mad propz...to the greatest among us. The one who will stand when all others fall. The only guaranteed seat on the Doomsday Rocket. The speaker of truths. The master of the flying drop-kick. The doer of green chicks.

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
- William Shatner

I know that Wired has a certain readership that gravitates toward a certain kind of writer, but I'd be really interested to see what six-word stories we'd get from the likes of David Mamet, Rob Thomas, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Chuck Palahniuk, John Swartzwelder or that one guy that umm...what was his name again *snap* *snap* oh, yeah...Aaron Sorkin.
©2016 Michael Patrick Sullivan