So I launched the idea of Twittories late last week while suffering from a creative outburst fuelled by rage and caffeine. We actually started the first story, “The Darkness Inside” on Tuesday this week, and since then I’ve been fascinated by how people are moving the story along and the sense of anticipation that I feel and, judging by some of the things I’m seeing written on Twitter, others are feeling as well.

I wrote the first line of the story but I have no idea (or control) what it is even going to be about? Since my first line we’ve already seen the introduction and murder (perhaps? he isn’t dead yet, just poisoned) of a second character. And we’re only up to submission #16!

Duncan wrote about Twittories on TechCrunch yesterday and it got the usual bullshit TechCrunch criticisms in the comments. It makes me laugh how many people are the living embodiment of Comic Book Guy. Anyway, it was hopefully great exposure for us. Most of the TC criticism tends to come from two angles: it isn’t original and it isn’t “literature”.

I think both of these are worth exploring further because they are what I expected the doubters to say. Duncan, as he usually does, also wrote some profoundness about the idea which made me think about it in more detail.

It isn’t original.Mitts Kane sez “People have been doing this kind of round robin story forever, both on and off the internet, so I guess this is interesting just because it’s Twitter? And just as I am one of those who never got the point of Twitter… I don’t get this either.” The point, Mitts, is that we have 140 people contributing to a story as a form of entertainment. I had a terrible time trying to write the first line, it was very daunting. I don’t know if the other authors have felt the same kind of pressure to write something that not only needs to take the story somewhere, but is going to do so in a very public environment. I’m also enjoying the tension waiting to see where the story will go next. What genre will it be? Already we seem to be veering from Hammet to Asimov to Stross and back again to Hammet. Will the story deteriorate into complete crap? Perhaps. Many might say it already has. But I’m enjoying it a lot. Getting back to originality… writing books isn’t original either Mitts. If I wrote a book today, would you diss it because someone did it before? Being a cheap critic isn’t original either but you seem happy in the role.

It isn’t literature.” On TechCrunch, Marc wrote: “Besides the fact that this was invented years ago by the surrealist group in Paris under the nice knickname of “cadavres exquis”, it also is a very nice way to ban litterature from the end result. Just figure out that with Proust for example, you wouldn’t even have reach the main verb with 140 digits. It is SMS style logorrhea, and definitively not writing. Sorry.”

According to Wikipedia (tranlated from French into English),:

It was invented in the house of 54 rue du Château inhabited Marcel Duhamel, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy. It has changed from a fun activity, according to André Breton: “Although, as a defense, sometimes, this activity has been called, by us,” experimental “, we are looking for first and foremost entertainment. What we have been able to discover valuable in relation to the knowledge no one came then. “(Medium No. 2, 1954)

Entertainment! Aha! Literature my ass. Bite me, Marc. “Definitely not writing”. Jesus, what a dickhead.

Anyway, as David Lee Roth once said “If you stick your head above the crowd, someone’s going to throw a rotten tomato at it.” I love getting my philosophy of life from DLR. He da man.

SO what are the normal people from around the world saying about Twittories? Here’s a few snaps from across Twitter:

descentintomael in love with
chrisvdberge zijn er mensen hier die meedoen met Twittories?
nickellis Meu post sobre o Twittories…
plivings Interesting to view the Twittories history because it reflects time zones – hoping I’m awake when it comes around!
genarobardy check twittory très drôle
JBO Historias Twitter – – Realidad o ficcion 140 caracteres a la vez
Pixites bekijkt ideetje om roman (netje?) te schrijven
Kodo glad i didnt sign up for twittories, no way i couldkeep up the high standard being set
dpn is it just me or has twittories increased everyones tpm rate? (twits per minute) Everyone seems to just be hanging around on twitter.
jjprojects @Warlach Added quite a few of the Twittory participants who I weren’t following – many have reciprocated.
thadeum e os filhotes de twitter continuam a surgir:

I like this post by Josh Spear as well:

It was only a matter of time before someone started leveraging the phenomenon that is Twitter for something more creative than a branded RSS feed of daily specials. That someone is Twittories, and despite their decidedly lo-fi look, the idea behind the project is awesome. Think of it as the SMS version of those stories you had to write in English class, where you’d write for two minutes and then pass the paper on to someone else. Twittories is the same thing, only it happens 140 characters at a time. And each person is only allowed to make one entry per story. A story is finished when it reaches 140 entries (just to keep the numbers nice and round). The first Twittory is called The Darkness Inside, and it’s started off pretttttttty interesting. There’s already talk of killing a man…

The whole Twittories thing exposure, combined with the general explosion of Twitter over the last couple of days with Jeremiah’s post hitting Techmeme, has pushed me up the in the Tweeterboard rankings. It won’t last, trust me. I’m not that popular.

And if I needed reminding of that fact, some gutless wonder is using TwitSecret to say I’m up myself. All I have to say to gutless is… fuck, you are so gutless. If you want to bag me out, put your name on it, chickenshit. Do it to my face. Fucking punk-ass bitch. I’ll rip your half-empty achondroplasian head off and stick it up your ass. And then we can BOTH be up ourselves.