Is Twitter a Good Medium for Writing/Reading?

David Mitchell,  Murdo Macleod

David Mitchell,
credit Murdo Macleod

This week, British writer David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Ghostwritten, started posting his new story “The Right Sort” via Twitter, reported The Guardian.  Mitchell is not the first writer to tell a story via Twitter.  Earlier this year, novelist Teju Cole posted his story “Hafiz” as retweets of tweets by his followers.

From the NY Times Arts Beat post on the project:

“My story, which had the (unannounced) title of ‘Hafiz,’ is a creative cousin to works like Shelley Jackson’s ‘Skin,’ a 2,095-word story that was told one tattooed word at a time on the bodies of 2,095 volunteers,” Cole wrote in an email, “and Janet Cardiff’s ’40 Part Motet,’ an audio installation of Thomas Tallis’s tremendous 1570 composition ‘Spem in Alium,’ for 40 standing audio speakers. But I went for this new device, the retweet.”

So, what is it about Twitter that inspires writers to tell stories this way?  Is it breaking down the wall between writer and reader?  Is it a way to share stories socially with your friends?  How is storytelling altered by only using 140 character chunks?  Are you, as a reader, able to connect with this story on Twitter?


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