Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Sunday Twovel Challenge

Yes, alright. I know that you don't all Tweet. However, I'm still enjoying Twitter and hope that it continues for some time to come. Or at least until the next fad comes along. It doesn't take up my time like Facebook or MySpace does, it's a bit of fun and, most importantly for me, it's another nail in the coffin of tabloid journalism.

As Stephen Fry so eloquently explained at his recent London Apple Store Meet the Author talk (free to download from i-tunes), the reason that the tabloids continually attack Twitter is because it genuinely scares them. The arrival of 24 hour TV killed their capacity for news exclusives and so they rounded on celebrities and whichever of us proles occasionally attracted their attention. Or they plumped for the shock headline in order to make us all scared to leave our houses. But now that we all have the truly democratic and instant ability to refute or comment on news stories, the papers cannot respond quickly enough ... and they don't like it. How many news stories has the Daily Mail published about Twitter? It's a fair few, I can tell you. Mr Fry has over a quarter of a million followers on Twitter now. Consequently, he has the power to instantly point out to 272,879 people (as of 10am this morning) whether he believes an article to be fair, neutral or a pack of vitriol and lies. And his followers continue to grow. Barack Obama has 364,312 and his followers grow daily by a factor of hundreds. Of course, we must remember that these people's opinions are just that - opinions. But at least we have the ability now to see several sides to a story. As Oscar Wilde once said, 'In mediaeval times, they had the rack. Now we have the press.' To that we can now add 'And in 2009, we have Twitter to get the bastards back.' Twitter may be gone in six months but it is a step on the right path.

But enough of the politics. Back to the fun. My good chum Mat Fox has suggested a challenge based upon the Twitter format i.e. 140 characters or fewer. He's suggested that we all try to write a novel of that length. So, let's call this beast a Twitter Novel ... a Twovel. Anyway, always up for a challenge, I had a go and posted my Twovel to Twitter:

"The sun's going down". He looked towards the desolate ruins of London. "They'll be waking soon. Just two bullets left, Jo ... for us, maybe?"

Fun, eh? And here's film maker, writer and TV presenter Lara Greenway's first Twovel:

Beyond the mountains, a sun sparkled sea. A dusty track - the car stopped. Left or right? Either had to be better than the road left behind.

And this from @markadley from Newcastle upon Tyne:

Sunlight. A piercing wind. He opened his mouth and she fed him. Together they fell into the void. Silence. A beating heart.

Crikey! Over to you, people. Run around ... now!


Laura Anderson said...

Good idea! I shall get on it.

chris hale said...

His limbs grew heavier. Every minor sensation was magnified a hundredfold. A rushing wind engulfed his entire being. Oh, how he wished he'd declined the cheese board.

I think it needs a bit of work, Stevyn...

Stevyn Colgan said...

Chris - very nice! I also had one come in on Twitter from @markreed:

'When the sun rose, the last human was dead. But the zombies remained and eyed the horses in anticipation.'


John Soanes said...

Combined Twovel and comment:

He doubted he could tame 140 characters, as he could not control himself. But : Did Steve know he had been on Runaround at the age of nine?


Ed Reif said...

started myTWOVEL,twitter novel, @edreif called The Sex Of Poker...BestEd