Twitterature - An introduction

Steve Taylor-Bryant introduces our weekend of looking at the wonderful fiction on Twitter...

Twitterature. No I didn't have a clue either.

When I tired of seeing what people I went to school with were having for dinner, I realised I needed a new online community other than Facebook and so I joined Twitter. The idea of talking to other people with my interests appealed immensely and, as a true believer that discovery and knowledge hold importance in changing the world, I set about my new social network searching for something. I just didn't know what that something was at the time.

A few weeks into my odyssey I befriended Kneel Downe. Kneel was writing articles for a website I'd joined and I liked his spark and opinions. After chatting for a while he mentioned his forthcoming novel and how he'd created, not just a story, but an entire universe in tweets. 140 characters to create art? I couldn't fit anything into 140 characters and was also using more than one tweet to purvey whatever message it was I had at that moment. From the minute I discovered this style of writing I was hooked. The brief nature of a tweet took out any unnecessary padding you might find in a normal book, the stories and world building experiments were punchy and almost lyrical. I then met James Knight and saw that art and imagery mixed with short verse writing really well and became a fan of the Bird King.  Legendary author Jeff Noon had also got together with a friend of mine, the sadly lost Jonathan Taylor, and created The Forgetting Room, mixing Noon's 140 character stories with music. Then Flash Fiction took a hold of me and Marc Nash is largely responsible for that.

These folks are Philip K Dick and Leonardo Da Vinci rolled into one almighty digital force. Do I understand everything I read? No of course I don't, but no one in life "gets" everything they read, view, or listen to. Do I try to understand? Yes! And when I don't get something these guys are approachable and happy to take time to explain things.

This weekend we are going to do our best to bring this form of writing to the fore, to help those who don't understand it or have never heard of it what a wonderful art form it truly is.

"Imagine..." said John Lennon and a select band of like minded talent did just that.

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