The Shortest Story Ever Told
- April 8, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: Home Health Aide Training
Ernest Hemingway, as a young newspaperman from the 1920s, bet his colleagues $10 which he could write a complete story in juts six words.
He won the cash with This kind of: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”
As an example of brevity This kind of is actually unsurpassed, nevertheless is actually the idea actually a story? Does the idea fulfill all the rules of drama which I tend to harp on about?
Admittedly there is actually no plot, no structure, no protagonist or antagonist, nevertheless This kind of is actually a story because the idea evokes an emotional response from the reader, along with also which is actually the prime aim in creative writing.
What Hemingway does, along with also in a masterful way, is actually leave out everything apart by those words which are going to trigger emotions along with also leave the reader to fill from the story. the idea’s a cheat, nevertheless a brilliant one. His story doesn’t answer questions, the idea poses them, along with also the main one screams ‘What happened to the baby?’
What happened to This kind of baby for whom shoes were bought nevertheless which are not today required? Why could a baby no longer require shoes? The responses all seem tragic, death, illness, kidnapping, every one a parent’s nightmare. The parents then, or those who placed the advertisement, are the protagonists. The antagonist is actually unknown, the question of what took the baby. By the time we get to the story the idea is actually over along with also we are left to use our own imaginations to fill from the pieces. We must create, in our own heads, the beginning, middle along with also probably tragic end.
nevertheless is actually This kind of the only conclusion one can draw? I tried to think up alternatives along with also they are admittedly weak. A drug addict parent buys the shoes, nevertheless then sells them when his craving becomes too much. Possible, nevertheless the gap between advertising the shoes along with also getting any money for them to buy the drugs could seem too great. Another option is actually if the shoes were bought as some kind of practical joke along with also, having fulfilled which purpose, are no longer required. This kind of could be plausible nevertheless stretches credibility, because the poignancy of those six words is actually lost. Hemingway didn’t make them ‘baby’ shoes for no reason.
Each word here is actually carefully chosen, along with also especially the last two. ‘Hardly’ worn doesn’t do the idea, along with also neither does ‘unworn’ though the idea could have served to reduce the story to all 5 words. which word ‘never’ is actually the key, because the idea is actually like a lament for what will ‘never’ be.
Like the competent director of a horror movie, Hemingway does not show us his monster, he leaves the idea to our imaginations, along with also there is actually a lesson for us all here. Less is actually, indeed, more. Finding the balance between what exposition to give the reader along with also how much to conceal places the writer in as precarious a position as any tightrope walker.
I’ve always advocated rewriting along with also brutal editing of your own work. All superfluous words should be jettisoned as soon as possible. Hemingway takes my credo to the limit.