Keeping it Short

follow suit s

You’ll probably have been hiding under a literary stone not to have heard today is the 100th anniversary of James Joyce’s seminal novel Ulysses (here’s more info).

I did think of trying to incorporate ‘Bloom’ (as in Leopold, the main character in Ulysses) into today’s creative writing prompt/exercise, but I bailed.

Despite being inclined to tell long, rambling stories when I’m in conversation, I’m rather keen on briefness when it comes to the written word.

Hence BREVITY is my theme for this week’s creative writing prompt/exercise.

You will have heard of Ernest Hemingway’s six word story: ‘For sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn’.

Legend has it he came up with this gem after being challenged by a bet with friends to produce a mini story in just six words.

So there you are. Now follow suit (I know, right?).

There used to be a regular column in the Indo where you could send your tiny masterpieces for a chance of publication and prizes, but I’m not sure it is still in existence.

So you are probably writing just for the love of it here, unless our friend Google can find you a home for your six words. Some of the stories will be a bit Sun headline, but that’s part of the charm, isn’t it? The idea is, you let your reader fill in a lot of the gaps…

Anyway, keep it very, very short – but pack a punch. The ultimate flash fiction challenge! And just for the craic, how about composing a bunch of them? Say six?

As always, these prompts and exercises are designed to flex your creative writing muscles – don’t get stuck thinking you can ‘only’ write poems, memoir,  or stories. There are many kinds of creative writing out there, get out of your comfort zone and try a few new genres!

This is the second in my new series of creative writing prompts/exercises. Drop in next week for another – they are posted every Wednesday, 5pm Dublin time. More on what this is all about here