My good friend Caleb Pirtle III wrote a blog recently, on the really useful Venture Galleries site, about six word stories. The uninitiated among you may think that is difficult to say the least to tell a story in so few words but look at the examples below:-
'Fear danced with courage. Brave ballet.'
'Love taught jealousy how to trust'
'My second grade teacher was right'
and one I feel is most powerful,
'For sale, Baby shoes, never used!'
The last one in particular generates feelings of much sadness and poignancy in me. There are no rules really and it can be a great way of focusing a writer's attention on the heart of the matter.
I write quite a lot of haiku and have explained the rules in the past. These are three line 17 syllable poems but they also must include a weather word and a suggestion of differing viewpoints. These last two points are often neglected by people writing in this style and I think that is partly because in the UK children have been taught about haiku but only in part. They are a great way to comment on something that is current. For instance a writer produced a haiku this afternoon that didn't fulfil the rules so I commented as follows,
Haiku has its rules A weather word is needed Plus cool ideas.
It just about covers the rules! I thought I would look at my Steele novels and consider them in six words.
'I Have To Get It Right' - Steele emerges. Learns Aikido. Saves souls.
'The 51st State' - USA rules. Steele divides. CIA chase.
'The Biter Bit' - Steele threatened. Comrade hurt. Life changes.
'A Changed Reality' - Superficially the same. But quite different.
'Inceptus' - Patrick Steele. From whence he came.
The Steele novels are available on all major booksellers websites in paperback and also for all e readers including Nook, Kindle and Kobo.