On Writing

Twitter Fiction

I am not a twitter user, but I was really intrigued when I first heard the term “twitter fiction.” I came across this term during my university topic on short stories, and my understanding is that it’s essentially creating a story in 140 characters or less. I love that idea and it is far more challenging than it sounds. This, of course, led to a discussion about whether or not these pieces of fiction actually constitute as “stories”. For me, that’s not the point. So, here are my thoughts.

I think that “twitter fiction” should be celebrated for being what it is, a few creative sentences designed to intrigue the reader and get them thinking. What I love about them, is that you’re not getting a whole story. You’re getting a snapshot into what could possibly be a wider story. The reader is left with gaps, but are encouraged to fill the gaps themselves. I have a great example:

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.Ernest Hemingway

I love this. This is a (very) short story written by Hemingway that was discussed in my class. What I loved about this quote, was that everyone interpreted it slightly differently. The questions of who, what, when, where, why, were all different depending on who you asked. Some people thought that the shoes were for sale because the baby died, or the mother had a miscarriage (how I originally interpreted it). Others said the baby was an unexpected gender, for example the shoes were for a girl, but a boy was born. Another possibility was that there was no baby in the first place, the shoes were originally bought by an infertile lady who refused to accept her inability to have a child. The possibilities behind this quote are endless and readers fill in the gaps based on their own knowledge, story preferences and experiences. I think it’s such a cool concept, I just had to have a go myself.

So I want to share with you the twitter fiction I shared with the others in my topic. I found it very difficult and had to really file down my word count. But I managed to get it to 140 characters exactly.  Hope you like it!

Cigarette smoke curls as it escapes through my painted lips. I sadly slip on my sequin gown for the last time. My last cigarette. My last performance. An unwelcome bump.
– Sarah Gould

Happy writing!


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