Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Art of Concision

Or – ‘That agonisingly elusive skill I used to possess but somehow lost, leaving my powers of persuasion hopelessly, painfully, pathetic.’ I’d say ditto to being witsome as well, but that would imply I’ve ever being blessed with such a hallowed gift. Anyway, I’m reminded of my fall from grace by a recent challenge urging succinct scribblers to submit a six word memoir in the form of a suitably pithy postcard.

The shortlist is not as impressive as I’d hoped, but having morphed into a rather long-winded buffoon of late, it’s not as if I would have had anything better to offer myself. My personal favourite is, ‘Divorced, broke, spinal tumor. Otherwise fine.’ However, pollsters have been seduced by the rather more romantic, ‘I made everything up, except you.’

I can happily swallow such sentiment only if I feel it’s sincere - this particular slither leaves me torn; I want to like it, but it’s a muddled sort of like. Remember when PostSecret offered touching, funny revelations... and then got inundated with unashamedly contrived cheese? The superior stuff lives on; it’s just that now it’s mixed up amongst the slush. Such is the way of these things, I suppose.

But yes, back to my original point: fellow Fringers! Show me what you’re made of. Make every one of those six words count. I await them with a silent shiver of anticipation.

(On an unrelated note, I came across an interesting book-to-screen article today, perchance anyone is interested in what screenwriter David Hare has to say about translating Bernhard Schlink's The Reader into something cinematic. And, um, yes; I am shamefully aware that I read far too much Guardian. Only yesterday I resolved to branch out into other bringers of newsworthy goodness.)

2 comments:

Cindy said...

This is a great exercise.

Here's me in six words:


Restriction constricts breaking point; explosion, repeat.


Doesn't matter which thread of biography you look at for me, the pattern emerges.

Cheers! Oh, and what's your six word autobio?

Sam said...

Yay, someone joined in : )

I like your words - it's fun yet hard trying to use only six, don't you think? It's good though, for making me think about how I phrase things.

Mine was 'good bits fact; boring bits fiction' - although that's probably a lie...

All the best in the New Year - I hear it's happening soon.