Friday, 30 July 2010

Twitter Stories

I joined Twitter a while back, only because everyone kept going on about it and as you know I always follow the herd. I wanted to know what the fuss was about. At first I confess I couldn't see the point of it - who apart from fans and stalkers cares what minor celebs get up to between gigs? And let's face it most of us aren't remotely interesting in the minutiae of our dull dreary lives. Or so I thought.

Over time it's really grown on me. I don't follow a huge number of people, about forty or so, enough to get an interesting cross section of thoughts and activities. So there's usually at least one interesting post when I visit. And if there isn't, well it's only a sentence or two so no time wasted. Unlike blogs people have to get to the point pretty sharpish. I like that. And over time you see a pattern emerging in people's posts that is more revealing of them as people than their more showy blogs and websites.

So it's taken me a while but I finally see the point of Twitter. It's a rare skill to condense your meaning into a few words - anyone who's wrestled with poetry will appreciate that. Yes, we all know about the joy of unrestrained prose and being drunk with words, but those words we're drunk on are usually more rewarding to ourselves than those we're communicating with. Mostly it's unmitigated drivel. Restraint is good. It makes us artful - every word must count. Real writers respect words and know their power; diluting them is wasteful.

So I wonder if it's possible to write a story in a Twitter post. 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Beginning, middle, end. You know the drill: get to it!


littlebear said...

Um.. a story in 140 characters is practically undoable unless you are very clear of your story. Heck, my comments will basically reach 140 characters if I kept on bragging about the length of the post.

Col Bury said...

Hi Sandra,
I joined Twitter for the same reasons as you. But the jury's still out, I'm afraid.
I take your point, though, about it making everyone get to their points.
We'll see how useful it is in time.
Ps. Even that comment went over 140! :)

Sandra Patterson said...

OK, here's my attempt:
Don loved Ann until the day he found her in bed with his brother. “Don't shoot!” she cried but he blasted Tod's head with his gun.

Joanne Fox said...

Gosh Sandra - what a violent little story!

I've never got into Twitter. Part of me thinks if I did join I might end up with another addiction which I can do without.