Twitter as a creative writing medium

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I must share some tweets, for context. They are short. I promise. 🙂

Fooling around, I wanted to see how much of a story I could tell within the constraints of Twitter’s character limit. I came up with this:

It’s raining, but my family’s promise is still good after 5 centuries. I open my umbrella and hold it over the vampire. She won’t die today.
I had to draw on some familiar tropes, but I got an entire story in there, and I gave myself a good launching point for something to work on once I’ve got my homework and my pile of editorial slush under control–sometime next summer, I presume. No big deal, right? A lone tweet, floating into the void. Much to my delight, however, one of my buddies decided to play along.
A fine line ever since Abraham van Klick killed his first vampire.
Suddenly, the first person narrator had an ancestor. And the details of this story are amazingly specific, and it raised all the right questions. How long ago did Abe van Klick live? What made it his vampire? And it answers some important questions, too. The family is Dutch, and now the first person narrator is obviously a vampire hunter. My mind went immediately to a centuries old sordid love affair, and we played with the idea for a few more tweets.
It’s not amazing fiction, no. But it was an awesome soundboard device that got my brain spitting out details about a Gothic world with a dark pact and an illegal love affair. Vampires or not, the mood that the tweets evoked in me and the pure rush of having someone else enjoy my idea enough to play along got me excited about writing a vampire story. I’ll probably sit on it until vampires aren’t such a cliche, but I still have a moody piece of spec fic I can submit next time I see a spot for it.
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3 thoughts on “Twitter as a creative writing medium

  1. I used to get that kind of back and forth from Gather.com before it ceased to be a writer’s site and became a Celebrity Watch site. I need it, especially as a humorist. I’ve only been tweeting a few days, but I keep zinging bits at people hoping someone might come out and play. Cracked might work too – just started posting there.

    I’ve never tried sustaining a story, but throw me a line (@TurtleFarmer) and I’ll try to play along.

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