You may think that it seems a bit paradoxical to host a workshop, let alone many workshops, on a form that uses only six words, but after years of reading these six word stories, we felt it was time to start these workshops to help you with your stories.
Therefore, if you would like us to do a workshop on your six word story, in the sense of having us discuss and critique your six word story, please send us a note!
sonicinterface has generously allowed us to use one of his six word stories for the second "Writer's Piece" workshop!
Tone DeafBest complement for her music?
It seems the piece here is already self-contained, but how could we develop this piece into more of a story?
sonicinterface alludes to a character ("her") and describes how the "Best complement" for the character's "music" is "Earplugs", so we have a premise for this story. What we could do next is include some progression or context to encourage the reader to imagine something more than what the original piece proposes.
For example, we could ask what happens next? Where is this being taken place? A concert would be different to an audition. Would it be necessary to describe who the main character is? What kind of goal does she have? Could we incorporate different points of view?
To incorporate more progression or context within this piece, we would have to rephrase and play around with the words already presented here. Already, there are many words that are vital to this story: best, complement, music, earplugs. Perhaps one could arrange this like so:
Music, best complement: Earplugs
However, without anybody attached to 'Music', the meaning has changed. In this sense, it may be worth considering making a possessive out of 'Music'. Here, we could add more clarity to who the main character is by listing a specific name. Or, if the piece is applied more generally, this could be left vague as 'her'.
We could also restructure the story into the below to free up some words:
Earplugs complement her music
Although some humour is lost through this restructuring, two words are now available to use for further progression or context. Similar to Writer's Piece #1, further progression could take place after or before the statement.
1. Earplugs - complement music...screams, punches,
2. Music, best complement: Earplugs...one earplug?!
We haven't progressed that far with example two, but the additional detail of 'one earplug' adds more to the story. Here, clever use of the title could add more clarity to the story even though it would be best not to rely on the title too heavily. On the other hand, example one opens the possibilities of the initial description of earplugs used to complement music. This would have greater effect if formal features were played with, specifically the use of 'quotation marks' and < sub > or < sup >:
Earplugs - complement 'music'
Alternatively, we could take the core concept of the piece and make it into something new. If the core concept of the piece is that earplugs are needed for music, we could re-write the story into:
Tone deaf, best complement : earplugs... knife?
Here, 'music' is not mentioned and we get the impression that 'music' may not be the main concern. Even though 'Tone deaf' could suggest music, the bigger concern is the 'knife?', which changes the story.
Or, we could set the scene differently through another premise:
Family trip, obligatory earplugs...not enough.
Music is not mentioned here either, but the ambiguity of what is happening during the 'Family trip' does provide more possibilities overall. If this piece was then titled 'Music', could it be compared to the original story?
Overall, the key thing to take away from this workshop is that you are not limited even if you only have six words. If you cannot rephrase your piece to free up words, consider another direction for your story. The only limits that you do have are the ones imposed by your mind - use your imagination and creativity! After all, that is what being a writer, an artist, is all about, no?
What do you think? Do you have advice for sonicinterface's piece? Please comment if you do have advice, or if you just want to share some thoughts about this workshop!
Hopefully this has been informative. If not, send us a note and tell us how it should be done. Feel free to offer suggestions on what we could do for our next workshop.