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Copy of Six-Word Memoir
Transcript of Copy of Six-Word Memoir
Creative Writing Assignment
What is a six-word memoir?
How to create a Six-Word Memoir
Visualizing your memoir
Start with a list
In order to narrow down a life into six words,
a writer needs to begin with many words and ideas.
List as many words, topics, memories, or personality traits as you can about yourself – activities you do, items, belongings, places you like, and feelings you have.
Don’t edit, cross out, change or worry about spelling –
. You are going for quantity,
so write as much as you can in three minutes.
Try to fill up the page if you can.
Circle best topics
Writer, student, teacher, lover of all music but can’t sing or dance, education, sitting in my high school English classes, loves to run,
first to go to a four year college in my family,
lover of my two english bulldogs,
, hates small talk, love baking, genuine, hardworking, involved, procrastinator,
passionate about community service
, love going to the movies, four brothers, fan of farmer's markets, can't live without strawberries, french fries and kit-kats,
, western massachusetts, hate change, collector of knick-knacks, handwritten letters, equality, treat others how you want to be treated, night owl
Synthesize your words
As a result of the freewrite, you now have
a sense of your topic.
Now, you can synthesize your writing (reread your writing and combine) to create a phrase that captures the essence of what your topic means to you.
What are trying to say?
What else it reminds you of?
How could you summarize your thoughts into a smaller package?
Re-craft your freewrite into a paragraph with no less than eight (8) complete sentences and offers:
an engaging lead sentence,
offers at least two specific, detailed examples to clarify and elaborate on the subject and
concludes with a sentence that attempts to capture the memoir’s meaning.
Create a poster
it's your turn!
You have already completed your list of topics and
circled possible options -- SAVE THIS PAPER!!
3. Freewrite about your selected topic.
4. Develop your 6-word memoir sentence based on your freewrite.
Make at least one type of change - word choice,
varying sentences, or punctuation.
Share your memoir with a peer for additional help.
7. Redo your freewrite into an 8-sentence paragraph with at least
two examples to explain more about your sentence.
Create a poster with your six-word memoir
that includes a drawing, illustration, graphic or photo to
capture the meaning of your memoir.
According to a literary legend, author Ernest
Hemingway was posed the following dare:
to write a story using no more than six
words. He came up with the following:
History of the six
Baby shoes, never worn."
"There is inspiration everywhere," Smith said. "Even if you don't think you're a storyteller, you are."
In 2006, Larry Smith, magazine editor, was inspired by this
type of writing that he
posed the same challenge to
people across the word and
the submissions poured in.
The result was a book and website where people can submit their own.
“Recipe for failure? Change the ingredients.”
“Falls often. Always gets back up.”
“Those old scars? They build character.”
“Buy the Ticket. Take the Ride.”
“Won’t let magazines
shape my body.”
“Well, I thought it was funny.”
- Stephen Colbert
Develop a better focus
Pick ONE item to freewrite on.
That means you just start writing about that topic and
writing until time is up.
Whatever comes to mind is fair game and remember, this is supposed to truly reflect YOU,
so don’t think superficial (clichéd, simply, easy or basic things), focus on the personal, memorable and things that represent your history or ideas.
Writer, student, teacher, lover of all music but can’t sing or dance, education, sitting in my high school English classes, loves to run, first to go to a four year college in my family, lover of my two english bulldogs, big sister, hates small talk, love baking, genuine, hardworking, involved, procrastinator, passionate about community service, love going to the movies, four brothers, fan of farmer's markets, can't live without strawberries, french fries and kit-kats, Haiti, western massachusetts, hate change, collector of knick-knacks, handwritten letters, equality, treat others how you want to be treated, night owl
Once you have finished your list,
look over it an see if any patterns or themes emerge.
Then, circle the
two or three words
or phrases that stand out for you. These should be the ones that you think really speak about who you and you could elaborate or say more about.
Topic: Passionate About Community Service
As a child I was taught very early on to always appreciate what I had and understood that there were people around the world who did not have the luxury of living a life like I did, even if I sometimes had to go without. Being aware of this made me compassionate towards others so I took an interest in volunteering occassionally with organizations like the Salvation Army during the winter and working at a food pantry on Sundays. However, it was not until my freshman year of college when I realized how heavily community service impacted my life. For me, the transition from high school to college was hard. I missed home, my friends, and was not finding "my place" at Lasell so I considering transferring and started looking at other schools when on a whim I decided to apply for the school's alternative spring break to New Mexico. On this one week trip I met some of my best friends in college, took part in eye-opening volunteering, and decided not to transfer. Since the trip I led my own alternative spring break, started my own service club, worked in Haiti, and will soon teach in Antigua.
The topic of my example was “passionate about community service.”
Through my freewrite I think I was trying to show my feelings about volunteering and how it went from something I did ocassionally to something I now devote myself to.
It reminds me of how many opportunities I've had, memories I've made and places I went to because of service
"Take the leap..it's worth it!"
It represents the leap I orginally made when applying for the trip to NM
Use of the phrase "it's worth it" because of the opportunities community service has given me
Speaks to my feelings about my decisions and service in general
More visual examples
Now It's Your Turn!!!!
On a sheet of paper, write and list
as many details, facts, memories, experiences, etc. about yourself.
Don't worry about spelling or anything -- just write until the music stops.
Now - look at your paper and circle or underline a few topics (2-3) that you could expand upon more.
"Take the Leap...it's worth it!"