Writing a novel, 140 characters at a time

It was bound to happen.

A guy from San Fransisco is putting his novel on Twitter.

A guy from San Francisco is putting his novel on Twitter.

Although most people can describe their thoughts on Twitter in 140 characters, every once in a while people need two or three tweets to get in everything that is on their minds.

But a guy in the U.S. is doing it one better: he’s tweeting an entire book.

Apparently, Matt Stewart wrote a book called the French Revolution. But no one would buy the rights to publish it.

Instead of self-publishing it, he decided to put the whole thing on Twitter (note, if you want to find it, the name is @thefrenchrev, not his name).

On his blog, he writes: “My agent submitted The French Revolution to all the major publishing houses. Many of them loved it, but none were willing to buy what they viewed as a “risky” novel–vivid language, elements of fantasy and farce, raunchy humor. What better place to take risks than Twitter?”

I don’t know if this idea is going to work for several reasons.

One, tweets go from newest to oldest. So if you want to start from the beginning, you have to start at the bottom and read up the page, which isn’t natural.

Two, it’s not full sentences. For example, one tweet is “…putting the finishing touches on term papers, insomniacs of all stripes. A number of early-morning regulars…” It starts in the middle of a sentence, and ends in the middle of another sentence. And since some sentences in books can go on, it may be over five or six tweets.

Three, anyone else who posts, or anything else he writes, goes on his wall, so it disrupts the flow of the book.

And four, the book was never published. While I wish him all the success in the world, it’s a no-name author tweeting a book that was never published.

I think it would be more interesting if he wrote his book where each sentence was only 140 characters. See how that would fly over Twitter, and it would probably be more of a social experiment than what he’s doing.



Filed under entertainment

3 responses to “Writing a novel, 140 characters at a time

  1. Cheryl

    Interesting – and yes, it was bound to happen. But there’s no way I would sit in front of a computer screen for hours reading half sentences. Is he doing it all in a row, or a few tweets a day, cause that would get really annoying as well.

  2. He’s doing a bunch in a row. One about every 12 minutes, it seems like.

  3. blair

    Easy, a la Hemingway:

    The man drank his beer.
    It was good.
    “What are you thinking,” said the woman.
    “Nothing,” said the man.
    “Oh,” said the woman.
    “Are you going bungee jumping?” he asked.
    “Yes.” she said.
    “Oh,” said the man.
    He drank his beer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s