This phrase was used by Theodore Roosevelt to attract the attention of his distracted interlocutor.
The ability to say a lot with minimum words, to provide a food for thoughts, to awaken feelings and emotions is the highest degree of professionalism and the highest level of creative writing. And we have so much to learn from the masters of brevity.
Reading the shortest masterpieces of writing, we perfectly understand the power of words. Just take a look at this small but impressive collection of the shortest fiction stories, which demonstrate the big talent of their writers and their unique ability to work with words.
Ernest Hemingway once made a bet, that he would write a story of 6 words only, that can move a heart of every reader. The writer won this bet actually:
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Fredric Brown has come up with the shortest horror story ever written:
"The last person on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…"
The American writer O. Henry won the competition for the shortest story, which should have three main components of every traditional narration (a plot, a culmination, and a dÃ©nouement):
"The driver lit a cigarette and leaned over the gas tank to see how many of the remaining gasoline. The deceased was twenty-three years."
The English also had a competition for the shortest story, where 4 things should have been mentioned: a Queen, God, sex, and a secret. The winner was the author of the following story:
"- My God!-the Queen exclaimed.-I’m pregnant, and I wonder who did it!"
The competition for the shortest autobiography was won by one old French lady, who wrote:
"I used to have a smooth face and a wrinkled skirt, and everything is vice versa now."
Here are some more short stories of famous writers, that impress all readers with their brevity and feelings they awake:
Robert Tompkins-In Search of Truth
"Finally, in this dull, secluded village to find him done. In the ramshackle hut by the fire sat truth.
He had never seen a more old and ugly woman.
– You - Really?
Old, wrinkled had nodded solemnly.
– Tell me what I should tell the world? What kind of message to convey?
The old woman spat into the fire, and said:
-Tell them that I am young and beautiful!"
Brian Newell – What the Devil Wants
"Two boys stood and watched as Satan slowly goes away. Brilliance of his hypnotic eyes still nebula their heads.
– Look, what he wanted from you?
– My soul. And from you?
-Coins for a pay phone. He urgently needed a call.
– Want to get something to eat?
– I want to, but now I have no money.
-Okay. I have a lot."
Alan E. Meyer-Bad Luck
"I was awakened by severe pain in the body. I opened my eyes and saw a nurse standing by my bed.
– Mr. Fudzhima,-she said.-You are lucky, you managed to survive the bombing of Hirosima two days ago. But now you’re in the hospital, you do not in danger.
Just live with weakness, I asked:
– Where an I?
– In Nagasaki,-she said."
Victor Hugo sent the manuscript of his novel Les Miserables to a publisher with a cover letter:
The reply was no less laconic:
"There was only one way, because our lives are intertwined in a very tangled knot of anger and pleasure, to solve all something else. Entrust lot eagle - and we will get married, tails - and we part forever.
Coin was tossed. It ratted, turned round and stopped. Eagle.
We stared at her in amazement. Then, in unison, we said, "Maybe one more time?"
To conclude with, here is the famous mono poem of Valery Bryusov (1895):
"Oh, hide your pale legs.”