David Mitchell (not the comedian, the other David Mitchell, author of one of my favourite novels Black Swan Green) has recently joined Twitter, and yesterday he started tweeting his story #THERIGHTSORT… Yes, that’s right – telling the entire story (which has been written especially for the medium of Twitter) in bite sized chunks. It’s a bizarrely compulsive sort of reading. And, as he is a master of the narrative voice, it’s completely absorbing. I thought it might be irritating reading the wrong way up, as it were – scrolling to the next tweet, but it’s not a problem, just gives that extra element of suspense. Of course, I’ve been catching up, and therefore reading a chunk at a time, which helps.
It might be a bit gimmicky, and clearly it’s designed to be a good bit of publicity before the launch of his new book, The Bone Clocks in September, but perhaps this is another stage in the evolution of the short story – such a versatile creature adapting to a variety of new media.
I’m even tempted to have a go myself. Quite a challenge, chopping up one’s prose into lengths of no more than 140 characters!
If you want to read #THERIGHTSORT for yourself, look for tweets starting from yesterday @david_mitchell.