Twitter Fiction

Dene Grigar hails the results of the 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project. “Over 85 stories were submitted by 25+ participants from five countries,” she says. Also of interest to fans of Twitter-narrative is Laurent Sauerwein’s Taploid project, though these Tweets are individual narratives while Taploid’s episodic tweets come together to form a narrative.

The two approaches offer different experiences and raise different questions. Taploid recounts a trip to South India over the course of several Tweets, emphasizing social media networks as a medium for imparting episodic narrative. The question is, at what point do we separate the cheese sandwiches and trivial experience from the serious literary narratives? Or do we? How do we criticize such a piece?

The 24hr project is more concerned with a collaborative effort to create stories no longer than 140 characters, à la Hemingway’s famous “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Here we face the familiar flash fiction question: how short is too short? Whatever that threshold is, I would argue that we haven’t reached it yet, as the stories in the 24 hr project are still able to invoke emotion and understanding of character. Some of my favorites:

Thanks to Jill Walker Rettberg for link.