Distributive Twitter Fiction With a Twist

The idea Twitter fiction, stories told through Twitter, is a unique way of looking at how we as a society tell stories. The medium that is Twitter forces the author to make every sentence meaningful and enough to make someone wait until the next tweet to find out what happens next. In Teju Cole’s Twitter story “Hafiz,” he gave out tweets to his friends that he had already written out. However, when I was reading the story, the style of the story seemed to change a couple times, based on who was tweeting it.

Whether we mean to or not, we interpret tweets based on their perceived writer. If it’s someone you know, you might read it in their voice, if all you see is a picture; that may change how you read the tweet. This I think is an important part of Twitter because it gives everyone a unique persona within the medium. Additionally, in Cole’s interview with Wired, he says that a strange phenomenon occurs when you read through your Twitter feed. In an experiment such as this, two people from different locations tweet something and “they’re not tweeting at each other-actually, you’re the only person who sees those two tweets together because that’s your timeline. And yet they speak to each other in a funny kind of way.”

This idea brings up what I would think is an interesting experiment. I would like to see someone try to recreate Cole’s story experiment but with an additional twist. Instead of prewriting all the lines, allow each person change the voice or language in which the line is read while keeping the main idea of the tweet the same. Now, you really would have a story that is tweeted by different people and actually reflects the different voices and points of view that people have. And thus these people from different places in the world are seemingly talking to each other in their own vernacular but part of the same story.


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