07 May 2010

Using Tweets in your Novel

I always kinda doubted a popular novel could effectively weave in a tweeted exchange. However...on her blog, Ilona Andrews presents a twitter exchange between Kate, Curran and Jim. It made me smile, and I realised it worked because the characters are so well established, so strong, that Ilona brings them effectively through the terse medium of Twitter.

The question, then, is could a tweeted exchange develop/reveal character or does it lean on the fully expressed text around it?

[I've had a couple of posts recently ref'ing Ilona's blog. Well, I'm compulsively checking it, waiting for the release of Magic Bleeds]


  1. I'm reminded of a joke. A guy joins a monastery where all the monks are under vows of silence. He's only allowed to say two words a year.

    At the end of the first year, he tells the abbot, "Still hungry." So the abbot increases the portion sizes for the monks. At the end of the second year, he tells the abbot, "Still cold." So the abbot doles out thicker blankets.

    In the third year, the man goes to the abbot and tells him he's had enough, he's leaving the monastery. And the abbot says, "Thank God. All you've done since you got here was complain!"

    Twitter, imo, is a bit like that. It can give a false impression of what you're like because one only tends to tweet during periods of high excitement plus free time.

  2. An oldie but a goodie, and still raising a smile.

    But about Twitter...I'm not sure. To me it's still so new it feels artificial--exactly what you're saying about excitement and free time--but I'm wondering if with familiarity it generates its own rhythm and character insight.

    I keep thinking of the early attempts to include email conversations in novels. They felt artificial. But recently reading "Oh-So-Sensible Secretary" the emails just flowed. They'd become normal for me as a reader.

    I'm struggling with all this new social media--well, new to me.


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