Category Archives: Twitter Fiction

#TwitterFiction 2014: the Festival

The Twitter Fiction Festival has begun. Charley is tweeting daily, although not with much enthusiasm for the form. I am following the hashtag #TwitterFiction on TweetDeck, but #TwFictionFestivalhonestly, for all its vaunted potential, I find the content disappointing. Although Twitter, Andrew Fitzgerald (@MagicAndrew) and other organizers have held out for pushing the envelope on its uses, including making the most of the social aspect of the medium, the majority of authors seem to be marking the celebration by simply tweeting out their novels/screenplays/short stories line-by-line. What could be less fascinating than dribbling out a 10,000 word tome 140 characters at a time?

For @OutofTimeMedia, the challenge has been to attract a sizable enough regular following to encourage regular conversations between my characters and an appropriate audience. Since Out of Time is time travel fiction aimed at young adults, that means attracting the eyeballs of teens–who don’t regularly pay attention to anything they don’t have to…unless it’s something they personally feel passionate about. To legions of Harry Potter fans, if J.K. Rowling started tweeting as Harry, she’d undoubtedly start a Twitter landslide. If Katniss Everdeen jumped in online, fans would go ga-ga.

But pre-publication, this is a tougher sell. I am mid-creation, somewhere between half- and two-thirds through writing the novel. That means my story, despite its unveiling on multiple platforms (an example of an emerging trend in #transmedia storytelling, with an emphasis currently on kid-vid as an anchor), still lingers in the pre-naissance twilight. But more on this trend to come.

Charley and I soldier on nonetheless, and are slowly, but surely, attracting eyeballs and activity to the open-ended tweet-story–where you direct the action and the outcome. Check out a recent slice of the convo.

@braddo @OutofTimeMovie convoWhat’ll it take before the story gains online traction? First priority: publication. Get the actual story out there. Second up: take it to school. High hopes that bringing the opportunity into classrooms, around discussion of how stories are universal…how creating a story leads to strengthening writing skills through research, planning and organization (good old pre-frontal cortex action!)…how they build empathy and compassion in readers who come to care about the characters and identify with their journey…how, for teens in particular, building identity is Job #1…and, in particular, providing strong female role models around STEM learning and careers…all these benefits may accrue from participating in an online tweet storytelling adventure.

But more about all the benefits of learning through story to come.

Meanwhile, tweet some fiction with Charley M & Friends at www.outoftimemedia.com. Are you up for the journey? Pack your bags…we’re taking a ride back in time. Where will Charley and her friends go? Who, among the superheroes of history might they meet? What will they see, hear, smell, taste or touch? What do you want to learn?

The adventure is in your hands @OutofTimeMovie.Tweet on!

 

How to Tweet a Story with Charley M. and Me

In presenting at last weekend’s amazing CO14 MOOC (for Connecting Educators Online 14) about my multiplatform storytelling for learning project, I was asked by several people to explain how tweet storytelling works.

I must admit this from the outset: I have no idea. Why? ‘Coz this is such a new form of interactive storytelling that no other author, to my knowledge, is yet treating #TwitterFiction as a crowd-sourced form of storytelling (btw, thanks @magicandrew, for coming up with the idea).

Still, when it comes to @OutofTimeMovie as an social media story, I do know I can’t make it happen without YOU!

What I can tell you for sure is this: Charley Morton, the 13-year-old heroine of this emerging time travel adventure story, Out of Time, fancies herself to be a modern-day Renaissance genius like her Florentine idol, Leonardo da Vinci. She’s busy constructing what she suspects were Leo’s designs for a time machine, only da Vinci had neither the science nor the technology to build it.

Charley abroadBut Charley does. She and her friend Billy are undertaking the project for the Middle School Science Fair, and they’re running into problems that perhaps you can help them solve. Charley’s tweeting about the snafus, among other things. And she would be tweeting much more if it weren’t for homework and her mom making her practice her violin, ALL THE TIME. (Something about 10,000 hours! Really. Check out that magic number 10,000 to see why some grownups think it’s so important.)

So Charley is very curious, and loves learning. Just about anything you might want to talk about/ask her about her time machine project/her friends/ambitions/or her not so satisfying middle school social life is fair game.

She’s busy tweeting about life. And a bunch of folks have been tweeting back, like @drkent, talking about how time travel can be musical!

TIME TRAVEL MUSIC

So really, in these tweep conversations, sky’s the limit. What would you like to know about building a time machine or planning to meet all the superheroes of history? After all, that’s Charley’s goal.

To start things off, here are the top 10 questions about Charley and her obsession with time travel:

  1. Where in the history of the Universe, does Charley think she’s gonna start this adventure, and why?
  2. What’s up with her Science Fair partner, class geek Billy Vincenzo?
  3. Who is Kairos and why’s he got such a weird name?
  4. What’s her deal with spaghetti pomodoro?
  5. What’s Charley’s least favorite thing about herself?
  6. Who are her friends, and what do they think of her mad scheme?
  7. What if she meets Leonardo da Vinci–what then?
  8. Does she really practice her violin 10,000 hours, or is that just something she says to get her mom to stop asking her?
  9. What’s she gonna wear for time travel?
  10. Renaissance history: who cares!

Suggest sights you’d like Charley to visit–in Renaissance Florence for starters. Like, her friend Lex, the hottie and baseball star of her middle school, threw out:

“Hey Charley, if you get to Italy on this mad voyage, check out the Mona Lisa and see if she’s really smiling.”

Only problem: the Mona Lisa is in the Louvre Museum in Paris, not Florence. The French King François I, a patron of Leonardo’s, supposedly appropriated it for France a long time ago. Still, Charley does bring up Mona (or La Giaconda, as she is more formally known) with Leonardo–spoiler alert–when they finally do meet up.

Interested in what old Leo had to say about that? Tweet us.

And a few things Charley would love to hear about from you:

  1. Where would you go in time if you could travel anywhere you wanted?
  2. Do you like to read or see movies with science fiction and fantasy themes?
  3. What are your favorite things to do and learn about?
  4. Do you and your BFF ever fight? How does that usually work out in the end?
  5. Do you tweet? Would you like to join the @OutofTimeMovie tweet storytelling team? Find details here: http://outoftimemedia.com/calling_all_tweeps.html

Any questions for us? We’d love to hear from you. Write us in the comments about any of this stuff. Or follow @outoftimemovie and tweet us and join in the adventure!

Time Traveler Color