Three Tips For Great Six-Word Stories

To Deliver Your Message With Resonance … Six-Word Stories Tell The Story …


A six-word story is an entire story which can be crafted to impart a moral lesson, evoke a certain mood, create a sense of intrigue, or capture an important moment.


“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams.” Neil Gaiman 


“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn” is a six-word story that has widely been attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

In six simple words, a heartbreaking narrative is told—from the six words used but also from what is left out.


Three Tips For Great Six-Word Stories

  1. Write your own story. Find inspiration in your own WorkLife and write a short memoir. Try thinking of a pivotal moment and then boil it down to six words that sum up your experience and convey your emotions.
  2. Choose your six words wisely. Words that have purpose and meaning will help your story resonate. Shorten phrases with contractions to make room for nouns and verbs. Use punctuation marks, colons and dashes to join different phrases without having to use conjunctions.
  3. Entice your audience to fill in the blanks. In just six little words, you can create a powerful story that evokes emotions and curiosity. Use what’s left on the cutting room floor to draw your audience in even further. In other words, part of your story will be in what’s left unsaid. Tease the audience with six words that let their mind fill in the blanks with the bigger narrative and give them a sense of a complete story.

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.