How to Write #TwitterFiction

Zevin_author_web_HR (2)Gabrielle Zevin  is one of the featured authors in the Twitter Fiction Festival, going on now through Sunday, March 16. Well, actually, Daniel Parish is a featured author. He’s fictional, but he’s featured. Parish is a character from her upcoming, greatly buzzed-about novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, and Gabrielle is creating a story — well, actually, a story within a story (within another story) — in his voice.


onthehouseParish, a one-time bestselling novelist whose career has taken a downward turn, has just joined Twitter at the behest of the publisher of his latest book. (You can find him at @danparishable.) To promote the book, A Forgotten Tune from a Dusty Room, he has been asked to write an old-fashioned St. Patrick’s Day yarn in the style of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” The story is interspersed with the kind of inept and often self-promotional tweets that have come to be a hallmark of new authors on Twitter.

It takes a special talent to create a fictional story from a fictional Twitter handle in 140-character-or-fewer installments, and boy, oh boy, does Gabrielle have it! So, we asked her to write us a little something about writing succinctly. And we asked her to do in 140 characters or fewer, of course. Enjoy!

Every time I see the words “140 Characters,” I imagine a massive story with 140 people in it. #twitterfiction

A story like Titanic. Perhaps, the Bible. #twitterfiction

But writing for Twitter is the opposite: a well-turned phrase, small observations. #twitterfiction

Though you could also stage a revolution. #twitterfiction

Either way, you have to be comfortable with being misunderstood. #twitterfiction

I am not so comfortable with that. #twitterfiction

Obviously, I am the perfect person to be writing Twitter Fiction. #twitterfiction

Check out Gabrielle’s #twitterfiction via @danparishable at 11pm Eastern (8pm Pacific) now through Sunday, March 16.

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