We caught up with Doug Weller, the author of Six Word Wonder, a new collection of six word poems, stories and jokes. You can buy it on Amazon.
What inspired you to first write Six Word Wonder?
I must have heard about the famous Hemmingway story ‘For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn.’ about five years ago. I was really hit by how powerful a story could be in such few words. I’ll let you into a secret. I struggle to get through long novels some times because I’m always thinking couldn’t the author have written something shorter. The six word story just seemed a perfect way to get a bite sized chunk of story, without all the time of longer reads.
Where do you get your inspiration from for new stories?
I try to write a few stories every day. Sometimes a bunch come out in a burst. Sometimes I dream about them. I read a lot. Watch the news. And, always in the back of my mind I’m letting new stories form.
What advice do you have to other writers?
First of all, write. If you spend all day thinking without putting it down on paper, you’ll never know if what you have is any good. And the reason for that is writing is re-writing. You’ve got to get a chunk of words on the page to then manipulate them into something better. Think of that first draft like clay. You will have to use your skill and craft to mould the words into a final state that means something.
Who do you think will enjoy your new book, Six Word Wonder?
People who read English? Honestly, it’s hard to translate a six word story and keep it at the length of six words. In German, compound nouns can go on forever, and their strict grammar rules might make six word stories almost impossible.
Seriously though, the poems, jokes and stories work better with adults. You need a little concentration, and sometimes a little life experience to understand where I’m coming from. In six words, I can’t explain exactly what you’re reading. I need you to fill in the blanks.
They’re really aimed at busy people. People who might struggle to settle down to read a long book. Take these stories one at a time and gets some little tingles of joy.
What’s next for you?
Well, I will continue to write new stories. Some will get added to Instagram @sixwordwonder where most of my social media happens. That means at some stage there will hopefully be another collection of stories down the line. I’m also working on a new thriller, after my first book, The Forgetting Cycle. Basically, keeping writing and trying to keep people entertained.
I’m also thinking about writing a workbook or somewhere to help people develop their own creative ideas around six word stories. So you may see that come out soon.
Lastly, do you have a Six Word Wonder you’d like to share right now?
Some books are like tortoises. Hardbacks.
That’s one of the more jokey ones, but I thought it might suit the topic.
Doug Weller’s Six Word Wonder is available on Amazon.