David Mitchell Tweets Entire Story from Latest Book
July 24, 2014
On July 14, Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell began tweeting a short story located in the same fictional world as his upcoming novel, The Bone Clocks. Six days and about 270 tweets later, he had released the “The Right Sort” in full for Twitter audiences.
Mitchell told The Guardian that he hoped the format of Twitter made the story more salient and immersive: “The story is being narrated in the present tense by a boy tripping on his mother’s Valium pills. He likes Valium because it reduces the bruising hurly-burly of the world into orderly, bite-sized ‘pulses.’ So the boy is essentially thinking and experiencing in Tweets. My hope is then that the rationale for deploying Twitter comes from inside the story, rather than it being imposed by me, from outside, as a gimmick.”
He described writing fiction for Twitter as a “diabolical treble-strapped textual straitjacket… It’s just as well that I love the escapological challenges posed by diabolical treble-strapped textual straitjackets,” he added. “I can’t say it was easy, but then again Georges Perec wrote an entire novel without a single letter ‘E.’ Now that’s a straitjacket.”