It is a rare and wonderful thing when you read something and it gets you excited. So excited it makes you brain tick and you can’t sleep thinking it over. Thinking of all the possibilities and really making your mind work hard but accessing creativity you don’t always utilise. That’s what I felt when I read this fantastic competition from Richard Branson:
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in less than six words. It turned out to be a heartrending mini-classic.
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
My entire business philosophy is summed up in five words.
“Screw it let’s do it.”
Being the generous soul that I am I’ll give you seven days to write your own seven word story. Just tweet your ideas to me@richardbranson with the hashtag #7wordstory. The winner gets a pair of Virgin airline tickets. On a very short flight!!
The Hemingway quote was impactful, conjuring up images and assumptions. It’s simplicity breath-taking. The competition/flights were a footnote in my racing mind, and I rose to the challenge. I also challenged my work colleagues – and if they were to win I’ll give them the leave for free.
My thought process for the #7wordstory was to use the feelings I had when I read Hemingways story. There needed to be a back story, images to spring to mind and also a future. The #7wordstory being the middle and the imagination being the start and end. I am no writer (as these blogs can testify!) but that is the process I used.
I came up with a few and most were rubbish (“the lake’s ice broke under their feet”), and I finally settled (and tweeted) this one:
“Bound in handcuffs, they dash for freedom“.
I hope that there is enough imagery and teases of assumption to warrant a back story and and future.
I came up with another one today and tweeted it too:
“the bomber stepped into the crowded market“
I looked at other people’s 7 word stories by searching for the hashtag on Twitter. There are literally thousands!! There are a few diamonds in the rough (so many just made statements, slogans or philosophies – not stories at all!). I scanned down very quickly, here are some of my favourites that stood out:
- Holding hands, they laughed. Watching, I cried. (@x_sarrrah)
- He stepped to the edge. Smiled. Jumped. (@mylimem)
- Dancing whimscally amongst the gunfire, they fall (@una_crawford)
- I won’t fall?”, he said. She pushed. (@natashajordache)
Blood on a Lion, once a friend. (@Besos48)
Your inheritance: Three Million. Your prognosis: Months. (@zhgingaah)
Write your 7 word story and tweet them to @jelly_wobbler (no flights for the winner, maybe a biscuit inside a cake though!).
- Six word stories http://www.sixwordstories.net/
- Richard Branson’ s blog http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson