Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Can You Do With 140 Characters?

To be clear, I don't mean 140 characters in your story; I mean 140 characters about your story.

Let me 'splain No, there is too much. Let me sum up

             ~ Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Are you on Twitter? I’ve found most people are not conflicted in their opinions of the microblogging site—it’s either love it or hate it, there is little in between. I’m a fan. I think Twitter is a great challenge, to try to distill what is usually a much longer concept or train of thought into a relatively tiny chunk of text.

As an editor, I find it to be a great challenge. I attended a conference for editors once, and the speaker at one session said that if you can tell a story in 2,000 words, you can tell it in 200 words—it’s a matter of determining the story that will be told in the end. I don’t know if I fully agree with that—can you really distill any story down into smaller and smaller pieces and get the same impact?—but I do think that it’s a good challenge to try.

And it’s an art when it’s done well.