Staurophobia – A Project

I have a confession to make (I was going to keep this a secret but I’m rubbish at keeping secrets like this so…)

I have started a new “project”. It’s small and not very time consuming but it allows me to write and it makes me think seriously about each meaning I put out there.

I say put out there because yes… I am not using Word (or my OpenOffice which is unfortunately my not-so-prefered but used word processor) for this project. I’m using … *hold on to your hats* Twitter. When I was pregnant I bought a small book which I was going to keep in the kitchen. I was going to write in it little things during those moments when I found myself having a ten minute break.

Well I do get breaks but for some reason this little notebook of mine is still empty. And although I’ve opened a word processor many times I’ve so far just stared at the empty page (evil empty white page) until she starts screaming for attention again.

So Twitter it is. 140 characters at a time.
It’s a small project I’ve decided to call Staurophobia. It’s fiction – a twitter novel if you will. And although it’s not much, it is something. And I’ve found it quite challenging because…

1) You don’t get to be wordy. You only get 140 characters at a time so all your meanings need to be short and precise.

2) There is no turning back. Once you’ve put the tweet out there that’s it. It’s out. You can try to delete it and rewrite it but the original will still be out there…

3) The format is challenging. You can (as I have so far) choose to write as you would do in a normal word document which no one gets to see until you decide to send it out. Or you can try to use the medium. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to do that. I guess ideally you could interact with your readers as the “narrative voice”. An interesting thing would be to have an all-seeing-interactive narrator. Not an I-narrator but a “let’s look at the other side of the street for a moment” kind of narrator. It might give the whole thing more power and an individual voice telling a story without it actually having to be an “I” per se.  It occured to me to use an I voice but it I’m afraid it would not be as challenging as this. It would be a bit of a short cut albeit an obvious one for Twitter.

4. Readers (if I ever get any – and I’m not expecting to) will not catch all the tweets. They might go back and read what has been written so far – or choose to just read what is happening now. If this means that there should actually be many tweets a day or if that means there should be only 2-3 a day maximum I haven’t decided yet but the way a reader ideally reads this project is very interesting in terms as to how to write it.

The little I’ve written so far has been inspired by my daily life. Don’t get me wrong – all is fiction, there are no real life characters in this – but I’ve seen people as I’ve been taking a walk with Akira and I’ve been inspired by the people and their behavior.

I don’t know where this will lead. It might just be one of those things I start and never actually follow through with but it has me thinking about writing and that’s enough for now.

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