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How low can you go? Tweet your fiction!

June 20, 2011

A while ago, I heard about the concept Twitter fiction. I went, “Huh.” Then, “A story in 140 characters? How is that possible?” And after that, I came to the conclusion, “Why not?”

I mostly write novel length stories and dabble in flash fiction of less than 1.000 words. When I started writing short fiction, I thought that it would be difficult to fit a whole narrative with character development and a point to it into such a short piece. But I discovered that I tend to get ideas that fit exactly that length alone (or have to be worked into a novel as a single scene or a minor character’s storyline).

140 characters, though? What could people possibly say in 140 characters? Can you even call something that short a story? Well, I looked into it and discovered that people could in fact say a whole lot. It’s a very concise form of course, but it is possible to hint at a larger story or to deliver a complete piece with  punchline. Nathan E. Lilly explains the concept quite well, I think, by comparing Twitter fiction to jokes with a set-up, a climax and a resolution. Indeed, a lot of the Twitter stories that I’ve come across are funny, but it’s far from all of them. Obviously Twitter fiction doesn’t have the complexity of other genres (or lengths, rather), but I think it can be quite interesting.

Right, so you can write a story in 140 characters. But what could I possibly say in 140 characters? Describing my novels in 140 characters was not exactly easy. It didn’t keep me from trying my hand at Twitter fiction, though. I haven’t done more than a few so far, but I just received an acceptance of one of them from Seedpod Publishing today. Or should I say @seedpodpub? They will publish my story on July 2nd. I hope you’ll drop by to read it (I promise it’s not very long. Obviously.).

There are a few other Twitter fiction publishers out there such as Nanoism and One Forty Fiction if you’re interested in having a look.

So how low can you  go? And how low do you want to go? Have you written a story in 140 characters or less? Do you think it’s hard or easy?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie permalink
    June 20, 2011 8:27 pm

    Squeezing something of substance into such a tiny space is always difficult. I’m trying to work on my brevity, so perhaps I’ll give it a shot.


    • June 21, 2011 6:21 pm

      It really is! I think you should give it a try if you want to. The good thing is that even if it is hard and takes some time, it’s not going to take the time it would to write a novel, so it’s not going to take a lot of focus away from other writing endeavours. 🙂
      Thank you for your comment!


  2. July 3, 2011 7:18 am

    I have just started tweeting myself. I have a hard enough time fitting a book recommendation into a tweet. I can’t imagine a whole story. I have to check this out!


    • July 3, 2011 4:37 pm

      It is hard to fit a story into a tweet. I think some people call it “hint fiction” which makes sense.
      Thank you for commenting! 🙂


  3. July 6, 2011 11:59 pm

    Reminds me of the “shortest story ever written,” (at least one of them) by Augusto Monterroso: “When [s]he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.”

    Hmm . . perplexing.

    I might try it at some point. Not quite sure I “get it” yet. 🙂


    • July 7, 2011 12:05 am

      And congratulations on your published Seedpod Publishing story! I just now read it and I “get” it. That is to say, I get *that* one. Maybe because it features a cat. lol 🙂


      • July 7, 2011 3:46 pm

        Hemingway is often quoted for the very, very short story, “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
        Writing Twitter fiction has somehoe helped me get it. 😉
        And thank you! I’m glad you got it. I’m toying with the idea of writing something longer featuring Bastet and Anubis.



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