Monday, June 20, 2011

Sum of all Parts

This is the third post in a series about Twitter, and it's impact (or potential impact) on today's technologically engaged society.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately, at least with respect to writing. I've had a couple of half ideas but nothing really worth mentioning. It's was very frustrating, and I decided to turn to Twitter. Did it help? Not especially. Well, at least not at first...  I went to Start Up Drinks Waterloo (#SDWat) and just chatted about start ups and new technologies and usual good-to-see-you stuff. 

Remember my post about how Twitter changed my life? Remember the one about proximity to greatness being effective? Well a conversation started about my lack of ideas for another blog post and a mini brain storming session broke out. How Twitter changed our collective sense of humour, turned into a commentary about how Twitter just generates more headline writers. Eureka! I argued that to write well you needed to edit. You don't write, you RE-write. Twitter forces that on you 140 characters at a time.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but with that kind of word count anything's possible. The challenge is doing more with less. Screenwriters do it all the time. For screenplays less is more and it's the writer's job to be as descriptive AND concise as possible. So can a writer use Twitter to break a complete thought down to its purest form and use it as building blocks for a larger story?

I say yes.

Twitter, with its "restrictions" and "limits", can force the succinctness out of even the most verbose scribes. You just have to allow it. There are cheaters or hacks that use leet speak or abbreviations, and there are those who simply won't ever conform to 140 (Kevin Smith). There are also writers like myself that will accept this as a worthy challenge and use that to sum-it-the hell-up (for a change).

Embrace the limitations of Twitter and use it to improve quality and challenge others to do the same. Don't dilute the imagery - perfect it. Be careful though, we don't want to lose the art. I want recreate each of Shakespeare's works in a single tweet.  I fear this is a bad idea.

Hamlet: If you're a king watch your back. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern take one for the team. Be true to yourself or die like everyone else.

Then again, if Homer had a smart phone high school English might have not seemed so bad after all.



Stealing slightly from MasterCard:

Writing = 3 hours
Words = 416
Characters = 2383
----------------------
19 Tweets

Priceless? You tell me.


2 comments:

  1. It's tough to boil down without dilution. But you're right. Twitter does the same thing screenwriters try to do: break big ideas down to one memorable nugget.

    We're going to need a bigger boat.
    I know Kung Fu.
    The first rule of Fight Club...
    Make my day.

    Best one I saw recently? You're not brave if you follow your dreams. You're just an idiot if you don't.

    ReplyDelete
  2. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

    My personal favourite: E = mc²

    ReplyDelete

I am addicted to blog comments, so please support by habit and leave me one. I appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts and I will always reply. If for some reason Blogger is giving you grief and you can't leave a comment you can always reach me at potatochipmath@gmail.com