I was just saying that this has been very helpful for me. It's like stretching and practicing before a marathon. I really like the challenge of it too. I think it brings out some very creative things from and others.
If you really want to put your writing on a diet, go to one of those 100 word or 55 word sites. You'll find yourself rewriting one sentence a dozen times, replacing three words with one and keeping the same meaning. That's quite a challenge.
Allie, you inspired me to rethink my trepidation over attempting 55s. I hope I did all right in turning out a six-sixes composed of 55 worders. I tend to be defensive about my own work, though, and rather stifle myself than discuss what I put into its construction.
If you look at my "6" Acquanintance be forgot you'll see that it's trimmed from a 500 word piece of the same name. This in turn was trimmed from a 1500 word short story, which in turn was edited down from 3000 words.
I think I've kept the essence even in the 6; a man "sees the new year" in with an acquaintance who dies and he indifferently leaves his apartment wondering if he should have gone to a particular party. A few years ago I wouldn't have though it possible to trim my 1500 word short story any further; I would have fought tooth and nail to keep certain things for their "flavour". It seems to me that the 6 concept teaches you to "take no prisoners".
I will admit it jump starts the creativity. Unfortunately because of the restrictions of the site (6 sentences) you will find ALOT of run on sentences and paragraphs. Yes, your English Prof's will be screaming.
I'm an English teacher, and I find myself bending my own rules to pack more into less space, but who cares about the rules when we're having such fun, eh? One of my pieces used to be about six pages long, so I had to hire a bunch of semicolons to jimmy it into a six without overworking the poor fanboys. Even so...
What I found most unexpected about the concept was that I thought, "ok bang out 6 sentences, boom your done." I quickly learned that the story is skeleton, muscles, skin. Oddly on the first draft it is all three with a parka on. It starts out bloated, then the first thing to go is the parka. But... then you may have to peel back some skin and then some muscles exposing bone, only to put the elements back into place, and yet again peel back the layers far more times than I expected to. Plus the bar is relatively high. There is some real talent on this sight and I don't want to just fling something together. Not to say that my potential is sufficient but I sure want it to be appreciated. That's a great start. Great discussion, enjoyed the other posts!
Immensely. At least in getting me writing again. I can't speak of the quality of what I'm doing, but I sure have been popping them out lately, and that is due to the attractiveness of the medium and its constituents. Of course, you are like a madman with all the high quality stuff you're posting.
Only kidding, Dan, about the madness. Keep 'em coming, please.
I'm with you Michael - it is making me write more creative pieces (most of my writing lately has been non-fiction and I've not really had to stretch myself creatively.
I went through a phase of writing some pretty oblique, stream of consciousness stuff that was highly experimental, but lately I've cut right back to a more minimalist, functional style. Now I'm enjoying expanding my writing again - including redoing stuff that for the 6 format.