I enjoy trying out different forms of prose writing, and for the past week or so I've been practising the short-form. In other words I have a Twitter account.
Writing novels is great. It gives you the luxury of thousands of words to build a world, create havoc, and then watch the characters sort it out, but I also like short stories. Those I've written have varied from around 500 words to 8,000 though I must admit to preferring the shorter length.
I think there is a real skill in developing a mood, characters, or place with just a few words. I don't suggest that I'm particularly skilled at this, just that I enjoy having these boundaries.
I had a 50-word story published in a book a number of years ago, but the 140-characters of Twitter is an even tighter limit. Comments or replies to other people are fun and reasonable within those confines, but in addition I decided to stretch myself and come up with something 'story-like' as often as I could. Hopefully practice will make, if not perfect, at least a little better.
Efforts tweeted so far:
Long ago summers. Car seat sticky against bare legs. Gravel car park, and then a long hot walk past stooped backs. Warm strawberries sweet on my tongue.
She used to run at life, too busy to enjoy the sun. Now frail and stooped she dances through each day.
I'm finding Twitter another amazing procrastination tool, and can see how addictive it could become, so if you'd like to practice the short form of writing you can find me @shaunabickley