Saturday, November 04, 2006

In six words or less

Copy editors, our nightly struggle to condense 1,500 words of prose into a six-word headline is understood by few. But count these people in.

Wired magazine noted that Hemingway once wrote a story in six words ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") and asked other writers to follow suit.

There are a few I just love:
Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
- Joss Whedon

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
- Alan Moore

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
- Kevin Smith

“I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.”
- Howard Chaykin

Bang postponed. Not Big enough. Reboot.
- David Brin

Anyone care to give it a try?

8 Comments:

At 9:17 PM, November 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wind blows the last orange leaf.

 
At 8:17 AM, November 05, 2006, Blogger tom said...

Elvis Costello did it: "Engagement ring for sale."

 
At 11:07 AM, November 05, 2006, Blogger Bill said...

Whither the "or fewer" camp?

 
At 10:27 PM, November 05, 2006, Anonymous Brian Cubbison said...

'Twas a dark and stormy night.

 
At 10:46 PM, November 05, 2006, Anonymous Mark Murphy said...

Copy editor inserted error? Ready ... aim ...

 
At 4:39 PM, November 06, 2006, Blogger Nicole said...

Bill, can I plead The Idiom?

 
At 12:49 AM, November 09, 2006, Anonymous rknil said...

Poynter exists. All is lost.

Wanted: Editor/designer for small daily.

 
At 1:45 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger Bill said...

Hey, I'm on record as favoring "or less." (And being beaten up for it.)

 

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