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article imageCloud Atlas author pens new story as a series of tweets

By Tim Sandle     Jul 14, 2014 in Entertainment
Is a novel in 140 characters possible? David Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas, is going to try. The celebrated author is publishing his next work on Twitter.
The new work by Mitchell will be released in clusters of 20 tweets at a time, over the next seven days with a total of 280 tweets. The "short story" will be called 'The Right Sort.'
Prior to the story being written, Mitchell, who is not a regular a tweeter, had to open a Twitter account for the project. He told the BBC: "I like my privacy... I don't want to make public the ante-rooms of my mind. I don't want to add to this ocean of trivia and irrelevance, it's already vast and deep enough."
The premise of the new story is what would happen if someone thought in a series of tweets. Set in 1978, 'The Right Sort' is narrated by a teenage boy who discovers the drug Valium. While the character is "tripping out" on the drug he delivers the story in sequence of tweets.
According to the Guardian, Mitchell described writing fiction for Twitter as a "diabolical treble-strapped textual straitjacket."
In publishing the work as a series of tweets, Mitchell admits it's a marketing gimmick but insists that it will also maintain artistic integrity. Mitchell has a new, full-length novel called The Bone Clocks, coming out in September. In an interview in The Spectator, Mitchell said that the new novel has "dollops of the fantastic in it" and is about "stuff between life and death."
The short story can be read via Mitchell's new Twitter account: @david_mitchell. The first tweet went live on July 14. The story opens:
We get off the Number 10 bus at a pub called ‘The Fox and Hounds’. ‘If anyone asks,’ Mum tells me, ‘say we came by taxi.’
International Business Times notes that authors Neil Gaiman, Melvin Burgess and Philippa Gregory have also experimented with different forms of "Twitterfiction."
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