Pulitzer Prize-Winner Writes Short Story for Twitter: Brilliant or Bad Idea?

Tech 2012/05/27 02:00:39
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Remember how back in the day magazines used to release stories in installments? Well, with the help of today’s technology, serial fiction may be making a comeback.

In 2011, Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel A Visit From the Goon Squad. Now, she is making headlines again for her short story “Black Box”—a spy thriller that is being tweeted through The New Yorker Fiction Department’s Twitter handle @NyerFiction.

Egan’s 8,500-word story is being released over 10 days, beginning last Thursday. Each night, a portion of the story is being tweeted minute-by-minute from 8 pm to 9 pm. On Monday, the story will appear in print, in its entirety, in the Science Fiction Issue of the New Yorker.

When Egan was asked about her inspiration for the unusual format, she told the New Yorker, “I’d . . . been wondering about how to write fiction whose structure would lend itself to serialization on Twitter. This is not a new idea, of course, but it’s a rich one—because of the intimacy of reaching people through their phones, and because of the odd poetry that can happen in a hundred and forty characters. I found myself imagining a series of terse mental dispatches from a female spy of the future, working undercover by the Mediterranean Sea.”

Though the story will first be published on Twitter, Egan originally wrote the story by hand. And unlike the majority of tweets, which are composed in seconds, Egan spent a year working on these 140-character chunks.

So what do you think SodaHeads? Was Egan’s decision to write a short story for Twitter brilliant or a bad idea?

Read More: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/05/24/jennifer-egan-...

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  • Vic F 2012/08/13 19:31:10
  • lolitalovely 2012/05/29 22:43:14
    Bad Idea
    If it's free to those who follow her twitter, where does she make money
  • Chewy 2012/05/29 19:09:43
    Bad Idea
    Just seems strange....
  • Kigan 2012/05/29 17:18:37
    Bad Idea
    I don't care for Twitter - never have and no reason to think I ever will.

    I would never have the patience to sit and read an 8,500 word story 140 characters at a time. Especially since the entire thing will be available as one piece, which will be much easier to read.

    There is nothing intimate about reaching people through Twitter, as Twitter is the far opposite. This is just going to get buzz attention, which makes me wonder why a Pulitzer Price winner is doing it. She doesn't need buzz attention from a website like Twitter.

    Now if it were a story that uses Twitter-style postings within itself, that might be different.
  • Merhabi Daham 2012/05/29 17:05:55
    Merhabi Daham
    Make money as you will, it does not harm me. Twitter is still dumb.
  • Paul Adam 2012/05/29 13:35:16
    Bad Idea
    Paul Adam
    they should not steal the art from users but can use bookstores nistead. Twitter is a playground for anybody & should stay so in order for the free word of a democray can be safeguarded from buiness intesions. Monopoly go 2 hell! Liberty foor free individual now! Keep the net free & uncensored. Free anarky in the US!
  • glass_butterfly ~YSU~ 2012/05/29 06:15:56
    Bad Idea
    glass_butterfly ~YSU~
    Trendy fluff. I respect her because she's done something I've only dreamed off (winning Pulitzer Prize) but it's just stupid to do something like that, it just seems like it's for buzz and popularity. And also a bothersome way to read a short story...

    The focus should be on the book itself, not because it's on twitter. If this is considered literature for my generation, I believe I may go crazy. Insane GIF

    Get off Twitter and read REAL books...
  • Fariborz-Zak 2012/05/29 06:12:10
  • Carlo 2012/05/29 04:46:27 (edited)
    Reminds me of my book reports in grade school. 140 some characters. lol

    Actually I wrote a couple of pieces in 140 character chunks on twitter in the past.
    Guess they werent Pulitzer Prize material, but I cant see why others wouldnt do the same.
    Im still trying to figure out the whole twitter thing. Guess I dont have enough friends interested in my tweets. Got a couple of followers though and for the life of me cant see why.
  • Melody 2012/05/29 03:12:16
    Bad Idea
    What's the point? Just wait for the entire story to come out.. Uh.. wow
  • sally 2012/05/29 00:11:17
    Bad Idea
    Who's going to pay her?
  • Lady-DeathBright 2012/05/28 22:58:52
    It's a good way to get people to read. It works for fanfiction, and sometimes they don't put a new chpater up for years, but people still come back. It could work.
  • Calvin Harris ✌ 2012/05/28 18:57:16
    Calvin Harris ✌
    Wonderful! I'll be sure to go read her tweets! Xx
  • Joseph Roach 2012/05/28 18:49:27
    Joseph Roach
    Great idea. Twitter is a fascinating web 3.0 product and deserves a good writing.twitter fascinating web 3 0 product deserves writing twitter fascinating web 3 0 product deserves writing
  • stevmackey 2012/05/28 18:29:29
    It eliminates the middle man.
  • ellie 2012/05/28 17:43:25
    Good way to infuse literature with modern day social networking. This will get attention.
  • moonchild 2012/05/28 17:38:28
    Bad Idea
    It sounds like an annoying way to read a book.
  • MorganRae 2012/05/28 17:14:44
    Bad Idea
    I'm on the fence on this one. I like the general idea of it, but I really hate reading online, and I know a lot of people out there feel the same way. Also, what if you don't read the whole thing in 60 seconds? Or miss a minute? You don't get to know what happened?
  • David 2012/05/28 17:13:34
    It would be a stretch even for the most talented!
  • TimothyBrianFoley 2012/05/28 16:49:12
    she can say whatever she has a pulitzer prize whats it to anyone else
  • Sterling 2012/05/28 15:03:30
    Bad Idea
    Meh. I'm pretty sure the Simpsons already did that.
  • HarleyCharley 2012/05/28 14:50:41
    good way to reach people....
  • rugrat1411 2012/05/28 14:13:47
    Wish I had Twitter so I could read it...
  • FISH 2012/05/28 12:10:35
    Good idea, its working right now
  • Fenabarb 2012/05/28 10:07:15
    get with it or be left behind
  • Fef 2012/05/28 06:38:17
    @NyerFiction great idea.
  • lmnlme10921 2012/05/28 04:07:39
    Never thought Twitter was good for anything, but it's a wonderful way to introduce new literature to a different audience.
  • Torchy 2012/05/28 02:18:12 (edited)
    I despise Twitter, but I applaud her creativity. It will probably be the only semi-intelligent thing written on that god-forsaken site.
  • abubinc... Torchy 2012/05/28 02:30:16
    I am inclined to agree with you.
    Not a fan of Twitter, but it's a clever "stunt".
    I wonder if it was her idea, or Twitter's, or some publicist's?
  • Torchy abubinc... 2012/05/28 02:41:42
    I think, like most -- probably her idea and then fine-tuned by a publicist. Most creative people (my boyfriend is a writer) are the originator of their ideas, but someone needs to sort of clean them up.
  • Adam 2012/05/28 02:09:03
    Limitations, paradoxically, can inspire creativity. Limit a person to the twitter format and maybe interesting things may come out of it. After all, if you're going to diss a book that is limited by being broken down into 140 character chunks, why not diss Iambic pentameter?

    Maybe it won't work, maybe it will only work as a gimmick. But it's a noble experiment.
  • Wulfdane 2012/05/27 21:58:59 (edited)
    Bad Idea
    I love reading, that is relaxing with a nice book in my hands (yes, a real book).

    Twitter? No thanks. Lame.
  • Flowers 2012/05/27 21:37:54
    But the first installment is weird. A lot of repetition.
  • Happy_Evil_Dude 2012/05/27 20:57:12
    Except she kind of stole my idea but whatever...
  • Miko Mikomiko 2012/05/27 20:35:33
    Miko Mikomiko
    Why not
  • patchulie 2012/05/27 19:53:55
    What's her twitter name, I'll bite;-)
  • Muriel 2012/05/27 19:08:44
    Honestly now, can you think of a better way to spread your reputation as a writer and. continue to grow? Great idea!!!!!!
  • Cal 2012/05/27 17:48:16
    Bad Idea
    Who has the time to wait and read all that? Me...I'd just say screw it at that point.
  • Rio 2012/05/27 17:11:58
    Hey it is the thing today, tomorrow it might be JIngolingolingo :) but to reach a wider audience base-- must spread their net wide. I think she is brilliant. Even though i don;t use twatter.
  • mae 2012/05/27 17:09:04
    A great way to get people to read, who otherwise wouldn't bother...Also a great way to get free publicity for her next book.

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