Here Are 21 140-Character Novels From Well-Known Writers

If you’ve been having a hard time digging in to that 1000+ page novel sitting on your bedside table, give these 21 “novels” a try: each is under 140 characters.

The Guardian asked 21 famous authors to squeeze a story in to a Twitter-length snipped. Likely inspired by Hemmingway’s famous six word story (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”), this challenge has produced some touching, funny, surprising and very tweetable stories.

Take the surprising twist that happens at the end of Geoff Dyer’s piece:

“I know I said that if I lived to 100 I’d not regret what happened last night. But I woke up this morning and a century had passed. Sorry.”

Or the gruesome – if taken literally – finale in Ian Rankin’s story:

“I opened the door to our flat and you were standing there, cleaver raised. Somehow you’d found out about the photos. My jaw hit the floor.”

And the story from Patrick Neate will resonate with most of the internet-generation crowd:

“ur profile pic: happy – smiling & smoking. ur last post: “home!” ur hrt gave out @35. ur profile undeleted 6 months on. ur epitaph: “home!”

There are 21 of these, and most of them are really great. You can vote for your favorite 140-character story by clicking the tweet button available under each one.

There have been other literary experiments on Twitter in the past such as Pulitzer Prize winning author Jennifer Egan tweeting her latest novel – which was written specifically for Twitter – one line at a time this past spring, and 71 fans of James Joyce’s Ulysses attempting to tweet the entire 700+ page novel, one line at a time, in 24 hours.

Why not try to write your own 140-character story and tweet it? If you’ve got the space, be sure to share your brilliance with us by mentioning @alltwtr in your tweet!

(Hat tip: The Guardian; Flying book image via Shutterstock)

Publish date: October 15, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT