★ A Gentle Tweet

As some of you might know, m’friend Roger Morris has joined that Web 2.0 band of authors what seri­al­ise their nov­els via Twitter.

It’s true, get­ting a sen­tence or a frag­ment every hour — that’s how I am now schedul­ing my tweets — is not like sit­ting down and read­ing an exten­ded sec­tion of the book through. You won’t neces­sar­ily remem­ber what went before. The text will work on the read­er in a dif­fer­ent way — but I am inter­ested to see just how.

Roger won’t mind me say­ing that I don’t think this is a good idea from a storytelling per­spect­ive. It’s dif­fi­cult to remem­ber what happened in the pre­vi­ous tweet and the tweets are being pub­lished on Roger’s feed, not a ded­ic­ated one. Added to this, the sen­tences seem curi­ously ordin­ary, not­with­stand­ing the assump­tion that Roger has trun­cated them to fit with­in the 140-char­ac­ter lim­it.

Have you ever been read­ing a nov­el when you come across a great sen­tence? If you read it aloud to the per­son sit­ting next to you, expect­ing them to be impressed, they’ll just shrugOf course, this might just be me.. That’s because all the con­text has been stripped away. I get this feel­ing with tweeted fic­tion. The advant­age of Twitter lies in isol­ated, for­get­table inform­a­tion. A story needs to be integ­rated and mem­or­able.

We’ll see how it goes. Certainly Roger’s exer­cise has worked as a mar­ket­ing device. But I can’t help won­der­ing if this is a tweet too far.

Adventures in Twit Lit

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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