★ 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

Published by

Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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