Having got the bit between my teeth with this whole idea of streaming real-time stories through twitter, I've now created a new twitter channel @TemporalTales that will be dedicated to the format, but how is this new way of telling and distributing short fiction through twitter even going to work?
No, the wheel has not been reinvented, experiments in real-time storytelling, like Jeremy Bushnell's Imaginary Year, have been created before, but the demands of the twitter medium calls for a new format to put over the stories in a much more immediate way.
After the successful tweet broadcast of the Bad Hair Daze story in April 2010, I started writing a Christmas story that would be broadcast in December of that year, but workloads being what they are, the broadcast was delayed until this year and @HoBloodyHo will begin tweeting on the 15th December. I’ve been excited getting it all ready and working out the bugs to be able to schedule the tweets. Making a new twitter account for each story has worked for these first two pilot stories, but I’ve realised that to broadcast more stories on a regular basis needs a different solution. Having a tailor made twitter stream for a story looks great, but having to build up a following prior to the story launching is hard work, and most of that following will drift away once the story is over. The idea of a dedicated stream is a much more attractive option, allowing stories to be broadcast back to back (if I can get enough submissions). @TemporalTales has been created to do just that.
The channel is intended to be a platform through which new and established writers can show their ingenuity and writing talent in what is effectively a new format (in the same way that flash fiction is a new format) of real-time storytelling. It also allows links to blogs, books and websites to be placed in the credits that can directly promote the writer to a receptive audience. A supporting blog-based website with an archive will provide additional information about the stories and the writers.
The Temporal Tales twitter account is already up and ready for new followers and will start delivering tales as a channel in the new year. As a test it will be mirroring the tweets from the @HoBloodyHo story, but with a time delay so that the tweets can go at at Eastern Standard Time. The Temporal Tales website and blog are still being designed at the moment, but will up and running before @TemporalTales begins tweeting in anger.
In the meantime we are looking for submissions for new and imaginative stories to deliver when broadcasting begins. Please email stories in .doc or .pages format including a brief outline of what it is about to:
muse (at) simoncornish.com
(I’ve used (at) instead of @ to defeat the bots. I’m sure you can figure out how to reassemble it).
As a guide, stories should be from one day to two weeks in output duration. Please bear in mind the constraints of the medium when submitting stories, @BadHairDaze is an existing example of how a real-time story has worked. More details about @HoBloodyHo can be found here.