Twitter Fiction: A New Creative Literary Landscape

Laila Al Sharaqi, Irum Abbasi


Twitter, synonymous with social networking, has become a successful social platform for the exchange of ideas, news, and information. It has also emerged as an experimental platform through which users explore creative realms of poetic and narrative content, albeit in 140 characters. The real-time tweets are fundamentally unique and increasingly sophisticated. The attention deficit generation of the fast-paced contemporary world has little time on its hands for extended discourse. Brief stories have been told throughout human history, however, the popularity of short stories skyrocketed with the advent of digital story telling. Twitter has now become a frontier medium that allows a unique mode of digital storytelling that facilitates creative literary experimentation. Twitter offers a unique freedom to writers insofar as a tweet can be an entire bite-sized story or even a snapshot of a story that requires readers’ active imagination to complete. Twitter fiction signifies stylistic word economy, compactness, symbolic structure, and implied narrative. Fragmentariness of the story is a marker of Twitter fiction. The proponents of Twitter fiction enjoy the originality, freedom, and diversity of perspectives offered by the Twitter fiction. Critics, however, argue that the mandated 140 character limitation stunts story development and strangulates creativity. This paper examines Twitter fiction and proposes that limited characters stories are the evolutionary answer to the reduced attention span of the tech-savvy generation.

Keywords: twitterature, fiction, brevity, literary art

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