Having experience using Twitter in my personal life, I found this platform for storytelling very interesting. The idea of using Twitter creatively to portray a narrative without narrating a story line by line is a different measure and is hard to wrap my brain around. Initially, I asked myself, “what do I use twitter for?” The main points I thought of is too express my feelings, relate to peers, keep others updated on my life, interacting with others (re-tweeting, liking), and a platform for freedom. The platform discourages conversation because of the 140-character limit so it’s crucial be compressed and concise in the tweet.
After thinking about the reasons I use twitter, I thought of how this platform can be used for storytelling. Firstly, the author has to be straight to the point and condensed with the character limit. Every word matters in the tweet and this gives the author the ability to play with the form of 140 characters. For example, in Félix Fénéon’s, “Novel in Three Lines” the tweets are stand alone stories that are interesting and meant to grab the reader. Secondly, the breaks can be used as an advantage by creating bite size stories in the tweets. For instance, Fénéon writes, “Frachet, of Lyons, who was bitten by a pug but had apparently recovered, tried to bite his wife and died rabid.” (Félix Fénéon , 1996) This bite size story includes the climax and conclusion in one tweet. The beauty of using Twitter is the reader understands the point of view of the narrator and there is instant gratification. The experience of posting the tweets is a lot quicker because it doesn’t need to be printed or published. Lastly, Twitter allows readers from around the world connect and interact with the story by liking and re-tweeting them. The feature of inter-connectivity is great to bring people together to discuss the story and brings a social aspect to storytelling.
Overall, I found the Twitter platform an unique medium for storytelling. Familiarity with Twitter helped with understanding the story but I personally feel Twitter should be left as a social media outlet for people to use. I found the gaps in each tweet frustrating as I found myself getting distracted by constantly scrolling while reading. Although I did enjoy interacting with the author and characters in a different platform, I prefer reading a story with more background information about the setting and characters and I felt the Twitter stories were lacking this because of the 140-character limit. In conclusion, I suggest readers to interact and stay open minded while reading Twitter fiction.
Félix Fénéon . (1996). Retrieved from Twitter: https://twitter.com/novelsin3lines