Monday, October 11, 2010

New writing exercise

Twitter. Tweet. It's fun to tweet, and, I suppose, be a twit...

Twitter limits "tweets"--little text entries one can send to others who chose to follow him or her--to 140 characters. Not 140 words. One hundred and forty characters. That's not a lot, in case you're wondering. Especially when Twitter considers a space to be a character.

There are probably several ways to use the limit as a writing exercise. I just started yesterday, playing around.

My self-imposed mission is to make each of my tweets exactly 140 characters. I want to convey the idea I'm trying to convey (vague and weak though it might be) in 140 characters. In this little game I'm playing, I have a couple of rules:

  • No shorthand, as in "texts" via cellphone
  • Punctuation counts and must be used
  • Must convey an idea
  • Can't use multiple tweets to gain extra characters

There's no penalty if I don't make it, other than I call myself names at the computer...which means I won't try a similar exercise on YouTube. I'm doing this as an exercise, not because I have a lot of fluff in my writing--I don't. In fact, it's tighter than a rubber band on brick. I'm doing this to make sure I keep it as tight as a rubber band on a brick.

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you probably already know how. Just follow Misticuf. That's me.


Jeffrey Miller said...

Sounds like you want to try your hand at some "micro fiction."

You know, there is a site that publishes only "tweet/micro-fiction" stuff. 140 characters, nothing more.

It's a good exercise in "less is more" that sort of thing.

David J. Steele said...

A site that publishes tweet/micro-fiction? they pay by the word? :-D

I'll leave the micro fiction to you. It's an area in which you have special talent. I prefer the long nearly languid stretch of a novel manuscript. I enjoyed playing with the 140 character limit on Twitter, but it didn't take long to get pretty good at it (in my own shy opinion.) I believe I'll go back to tweeting whatever strikes my fancy.