I wasn’t really Twittery enough last year to know about the #TwitterFiction Festival. This year, I am. And I’m really intrigued! I like seeing fiction happen in a new medium — and in a medium as restrictive as this one, it will be so cool to see what the authors are able to do! There’s nothing harder than writing short fiction, and this is the ultimate of short fiction (excepting perhaps that quirky little genre known as the six-word story). It’ll be like making a diamond, right? We could see some really excellent writing emerge under such rigid writing rules.
I’m also pleased to see Twitter accepting and engaging with the fictional world, after the disastrous suspension of some of the Emma Approved Twitter accounts last year. Maybe it wasn’t a conscious decision to shut down accounts without real people behind them, but it certainly felt targeted to the fans of a group of people who were revolutionizing the way we tell a story and the way a reader/viewer/user (we don’t have the right vocabulary for this kind of storytelling yet and that’s so cool!) experiences that story.
All that said, I’ve been a bit puzzled about how exactly this festival works. And about the summaries for some of these stories.
For instance: “Over 35 collaborators playing word games in Italian to rewrite the poetry of @PaveseCesare on Twitter”?
Yeah, I don’t really know what that means. It sounds contrived.
“The erotic inner life of Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey, revealed by @anthonyfmarra”?
Um, thanks but no thanks.
But, “The rise and fall of Anne Boleyn from the POV of her dog, voiced by @LizFremantle”? Sign me up! “@tommycm is taking you on a choose-your-own-adventure night out in London”? I only wish I could join him IRL! “@benjamin_percy writes a meta horror story for the digital era that is literally coming for you”? Eek, I can’t wait!
You guys — Lizzie’s back!
The one, the only, @TheLizzieBennet has returned for the festival, bringing along chaos (oh, and Charlotte, Jane, Darcy, and the marvelous Lydia that the Lizzie Bennet Diaries taught us to love.) We may not get videos, but it almost doesn’t matter. I can hear their voices in the way they tweet and it does make me so happy to see them back.
This is so cute!
This past summer at SPI, the magazine brands were always going on about the 360-degree experience. They wanted to offer their readers every kind of medium and immerse them by bringing the brand into every part of their world.
They should take lessons from LBD. Really, they should. For a year, the LBD was everywhere: it was on my Facebook, my Tumblr, my Twitter. I could read it, yes, but I also got face time. Lizzie and Lydia and Jane and Fitz and Charlotte and Darcy and Gigi became my friends the same way that people on podcasts start to feel like your friends: I spent enough time with them to develop inside jokes and to know the tones of their voices. And unlike a book, it was realtime. It felt like it was happening. It was like I had grown up reading Pride & Prejudice and wishing that someday I could meet Lizzie and be friends with her. And then she walked into my life.
The LBD was like getting a letter from Hogwarts with a bent edge from being lost in the mail or like finding a dragon’s egg in the woods behind my house after a particularly portentous thunderstorm. Something I always expected to happen, but never thought would happen.
Readers like to joke about this:
With LBD, it wasn’t a joke. It felt that real.
Eventually, of course, the story ended. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. Sometimes it feels like some of my friends just got really busy and forgot to respond to my texts.
And hey, that happens!
I don’t mind.
Just don’t do it again.