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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sometimes Fewer Words Are Better

By Johna Ferguson

I have decided it’s time to take a hiatus from essays and instead to write something, but something really short yet filled with lots of feelings.

A few weeks ago I received an email regarding such a story. A college professor told his class to write a story using as few words as possible. Also, the story must contain three elements:

  1. Religion
  2. Sexuality
  3. Mystery

There was only one person who got an A+. That person wrote:

Good God,
I’m pregnant,
I wonder who did it?

That reminded me of the one Ernest Hemingway wrote using only six words:

For sale,
Baby shoes,
Never worn.

Those simple six words evoke such a bounty of feelings.

In my writings, I have tried to make some impression, either through my doings or my ideas, but I find that difficult and yet keep them around 600 words. I have to do a lot of cutting so I often wonder if I’ve missed the true point of my original story and ended up with a dud instead.

Therefore, I decided to try to write a more succinct one and following is my result.

Bronze casket,
Used once,
Free, you pick-up.

Now, does this make you wonder why they are getting rid of the casket? Perhaps this is the new trend - don’t waste, reuse or maybe the body was cremated.

Or why, if it is bronze, is it free? Certainly it set that person or family back a bit to buy it originally.

Or, why must you pick it up and where? Certainly it won’t be at their home - probably at some mortuary or crematory. Is that is why it is practically new?

Oh, what a plethora of thoughts it brings forth. And now back to my usual writings. Hope you enjoyed the change if only for a few moments. (And by the way this on is only 312 words.)

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


I logged in.
I saw.
I marveled!

Limits set
Lordy me,
Set me free
From verbosity!!

The tears came
The scars remain
On an innocent face.

Johna, I think you started something.

Went through the flames
Have scars and pain
I'd do it again
To save my friend

I liked
your longer
ones better.

I read
I'm smiling
It must have been good

For me,
Religion and
are both a

What makes you think this casket was in pretty good shape, just because it was used only once?

How do you know you didn't have to dig it up?

Be careful about assumptions!

33 words -- I just didn't have the energy to whittle it down to form, but really like the idea. 50 words

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