Telling a story in 6 words.

Today we had Sarah Jones as a guest lecturer, boy. I mean I thought I was a digital media nerd but Sarah, boy lol.

I think we all know how to tell stories. Some people are just so naturally good at it, lie my creative friend and partner in crime, Saed Abib, telling stories is second nature to him, after all he is a writer. I think that whats distinct a good story from from a bad one is the coming together of the different parts of the narrative, a shit plot is a bad story.

Sarah Jones taught us about the 6 word story inspired by Ernest Hemingway;

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

—Ernest Hemingway

The original short short story and the inspiration for this website. In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway’s colleagues bet him that he couldn’t write a complete story in just six words. They paid up. Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work.

(“For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”) 

He really did pull it off, I mean the bet. Like wow. This was definitely a *drops mic* moment. All I want to see is his friends face, he must have been like ‘Ernest man! why so deep!’ lol On a serious note, this story is strong because in 6 words you can feel the pain and sorrow of the parent.

Just like the 6 word story, Photography only shows a part of something, a moment in time seized and froze within this frame, a moment the subject has created, leaving the viewer  to fill in the gaps. Just like the 6 word story, photography paints a prior narrative and a subsequent effect following the actions or inactions on the screen. So for argument sake, lets say that the idea of a 6 word story is a picture and the idea of a novel is a film.



what I aim to do is title my projects using the technique of the 6 word story. As explained, I aim to replicate the aesthetics of Duane Michals photography, how he titled his works to tame the understanding of the narratives he created. Walter Benjamin writes that ‘they (photography) demand a specific kind of approach; free- floating contemplation is not appropriate to them. they stir the viewer, he feels challenged by them in a new way….for the first time captions have become obliugatory and it is clear that they have an altogether different character than the title of a painting.’ (Benjamin, 1968. p220)  I aim to create 6 word stories that sends the message of the photograph without even viewing these pictures. I will be telling really personal stories of myself with the 6 word story, the pictures will simply a visual of these stories. I am focusing on these stories before i start to think of the visuals. I am developing the stories at this point and picking what stories I want to tell artistically.



“Benjamin, Walter, Hannah Arendt, and Harry Zohn. Illuminations. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. Print.

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”. Six Word Stories. N.p., 2008. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.



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