Six-Word Stories

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind, Emotion & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Can you create a story in 6 words? Ernest Hemingway met the challenge with his famous six-word story.

Stories can take many forms. Most are more than 6 words. Movies, television, commercials, oral storytelling performance, novels, short stories …

What makes a story?

The elements of a story are:

  1. character
  2. setting
  3. plot
  4. climax
  5. resolution

Beyond the elements, the purpose of a story is transmit an experience.
Stories touch us beyond the physical … on the mental, emotional, spiritual level.
Stories connect us.

In 6 words, Hemingway manages to create the arc of a story.

If the challenge of the six-word story intrigues you, submit yours to

Upcoming Workshop

I personally need more than 6 words, so I’ve created a workshop to teach the craft of personal story. As a storytelling performer, I’ve taken many workshops and crafted many stories. I also love helping others unearth their stories and find the passion to tell them effectively. Join me in this fun & interactive workshop!

Learn how to find and tell your own personal stories.
I believe that everyone can tell a story. In this 2 hour workshop, you will learn how!
One caveat, we’ll probably need more than 6 words.

Six More Words

If you would rather stick with six words, remember to visit
Here’s another famous story captured in six-words.

“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.”
~ Margaret Atwood