The 140-Character Novel: Famous Authors Try Their Hands at Twitter Fiction


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Hemingway made famous the six-word story with his oft-quoted “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” But is ultra-brevity a form we can expect to see more often now that being on Twitter is more popular than not? The Guardian rounded up 21 famous authors and asked them to give the 140-character story a go.

Hari Kunru gives a good short-form thriller:

And Helen Fielding shows strong with her micro-tale of marital woe:

But as Simon Armitage notes, perhaps this project isn’t worth the effort:

There are 18 more where this came from, but for me the results are mixed. Read the rest and decide for yourself, but before you go, let’s play a game: Drop your own 140-character story into the comments. I have a feeling that you guys can convince me that there’s a better way to do this.

Editor’s Note: FREE SHIRT TO THE BEST STORY (As decided by me!)

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15 Responses to The 140-Character Novel: Famous Authors Try Their Hands at Twitter Fiction

  1. I sigh as I enter the light, when all I wished was oblivion, to life. Another life to be unfulfilled yet again. Reincarnation sucks.

    …. That was actually kind of fun. :)

    (No need for actual entry for the T-shirt since I assume shipping to the UK is out.)

  2. Reaching mile 350, Reg confronted it: deliver the cargo and risk a messenger’s death or surrender to the agent who had killed his brother.

  3. The sounds of the keys keeps you going as if they seemed to be tapping your own marching beat. Last period; relief runs over you like the cold shower that you need.

  4. Been planning my own funeral all week. Seems like it'll be a damn good time, shame I can't be there. Maybe I'll make it a zombie theme…

  5. James faced his greatest challenge. Not 2 daughters. Not 2 diseases. Not his aging mom. His insecurity and he wasn't sure he was up to it.

  6. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank You. It's been swell so far. I've learned a lot today. I sign off now." – The ambulance turns off the lights.

  7. Every day he would get up, look in the mirror, and hate what he saw in the reflection. “Here we go again.” Cthulhu sighed.

  8. This morning I emerged from the bedroom in time to hear Stephanie, downstairs, say, "I don't care. Do not *ever* butter your brother's leg."

  9. Last one, promise! (These are fun to write!)

    What happens when you walk out of the dark into blazing light? Instant blinding, painfully long. Desperation to see, terrifying blindness.

  10. Well wethered is the vane that spins the soul free of discontent and rapture. Stopping only to forgive the fragile state of a mind and heart