Cloud Atlas author publishes short story on Twitter, one tweet at a time

21 Jul 2014

David Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas, has published his latest short story The Right Sort in 140 characters at a time on Twitter.

The first tweets from the new psychological horror story began on the @david_mitchell Twitter account on 14 July and finished up on 20 July.

“Once the idea that I could use Twitter as a storytelling medium bit me, it wouldn’t leave me alone,” Mitchell was quoted as saying in The Guardian.

The tale, spread out over 270 or so tweets, tells the story about 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’,” Mitchell said.

“So the boy is essentially thinking and experiencing in tweets,” said Mitchell.

“My hope is then that the rationale for deploying Twitter from inside the story, rather than it being imposed by me, from outside, as a gimmick.”

Mitchell’s efforts follow in the footsteps of authors Jennifer Egan, Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, who have also released works in experimental form on social media.

Author image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years