Monday, July 26, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Lunch

I realized when I posted the short story writing contest that I forgot to put a time limit on the entries.
For the official contest (of which the prize is a picture and bio on my blog), the deadline is right now. BUT I would like to hear any more stories you can come up with - either on these posts or on Facebook.

What fun eh? It's really hard to come up with a story in just six words. Hemingway was a crazy genius, so I'm declaring his hauntingly emotional story unbeatable in our hearts.

But as for the winner of the contest: [pause for effect...]

Scott Keller!

"Alien peace talks fail. Draft initiated."

Bio in Haiku
Best friend from high school.
Brilliant computer geek smarts.
Been too long since borscht.

I picked Scott's story because I felt it had a great beginning, middle, and end - plus you get an awesome twist ending.

This sort of writing exercise makes you think about how to organize and execute longer pieces. When going about writing a feature screenplay or a novel, it's good to think about how you want to set up your audience, grip them with emotion, then shock them with the final daring end.

It's so hard to do this in just six words, but if you can't do it in six, how can you do it in a virtually limitless amount?

Honorable Mentions
Spencer Holt: "FORSALE:Typewriterwithbrokenspacebar" (I liked this a lot, but I'm pretty sure I've seen it somewhere else...)
Tiffany Anderson: "Disneyland at 25, a first childhood." (this probably would have won if I didn't think it was about me... sorry babe)
Phil Monson: "Double Rainbow, what does it mean?" (because I laughed out loud)
Josh Cobb: "Whoa! *SPLASH* "Help!" *SPLASH* "guuurrggggle" Silence." (nice sound effects!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Extremely Short Stories

I was looking into science-fiction short stories as a possible creative outlet - my friend Spencer has an idea that I think would be an amazing short story and it has a science fiction twist. I haven't told him this, and he probably doesn't know which story. Let's see if he can guess!

Anyway, I came across this article in Wired that was extremely fun.

They had taken the idea from Hemingway who said that the best thing he had ever written was a short story that was only six words long:
For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Then they had several authors come up with some of their own six-word stories. It's surprising how many of them played with time travel using a sentance structure gag. Here are my top three favorite:
3.  "Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?" - Eileen Gunn
2.   Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses. - Richard Powers
1.   TIME MACHINE REACHES FUTURE!!! ... nobody there ... -Harry Harrison
Now I want you all to come up with your own six-word short stories. The winner will be posted on my blog with a picture and a nice paragraph biography.

Here are a few of mine to get you started:
- No problems, no worries. Cryogenically frozen. 
- At first the numbing feels normal.
- Check arrived finally. No authorized signature.
- Cold. Quiet. Uncomfortable. Space suits suck.
- Approaching summit, no turning back now.
Have at it! And have fun. Post as many as you can think of.