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Stories released via Instagram, Twitter could be new wave

Wired reports that Rachel Hulin’s Hey Harry Hey Matilda will slowly come to life through Instagram photos with snippets of conversation between the titular twins, Matilda and Harry Goodman.

Matilda Goodman is a Brooklyn artist making a living as a wedding photographer, while Harry teaches English at the University of Connecticut. Their story began a few weeks ago on Instagram and will continue to unfold with single posts in regular installments. Hulin told Wired the story will go for nine months, which corresponds to the timeline of the novel.

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The photos, Hulin says, are either from her archives or were created specially for the story. She initially began the tale of the Goodmans five years ago in the form of a blog, but revisited the site last year and finished a manuscript.

So far feedback has been positive, and Hulin says fans may even influence how the story moves forward. Though the novel doesn’t have a publisher yet, Hulin is giving her readers plenty to look at while they wait for the next Instagram post. Matilda Goodman has her own wedding photography website and there’s also a site that adds some audio and trivia into the mix, letting readers peek into what makes the characters tick.

Hulin isn’t the first author to release her work in unconventional ways. In July 2014, David Mitchell of Cloud Atlas fame released a story called “The Right Sort” via clusters of 20 tweets at a time over seven days. The story is from the point of view of a teenage boy in 1978 as he trips out on Valium. Other authors like Neil Gaiman and Philippa Gregory also experimented with “Twitterfiction.”

Twitter has also been a platform for personal tales despite its 140-character limit. Joshua Clover, now a professor at the University of California Davis, told a long story of how he quit writing for Spin magazine in tweet-sized installments.

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