May 23 – Limits: Twitter Stories

Yes, it is possible to write a story in as few as 140 characters, but you’ll have to let the reader do some of the work…

The Prompt

Write a story in 140 characters


  • 140 characters means just that: every space, every punctuation mark, each one counts.
  • If your character is a product of the pre-smartphone era and you want to use ‘text speak’, you can (e.g. Ur gr8!). Personally I never felt the need for that, and have learned to be extremely concise (believe it or not) when I have to be.
  • You can write a single story over a series of Tweets.
  • Stories written this way are gimmicky and often end with a punch, but it’s an interesting experience (not to mention a way to tick the ‘story done’ box on an otherwise busy day).
  • Don’t expect to come up with a refine a 140 character story quickly. You can, however, do it in fragments during a busy day. Keep refining it until you’re happy.
  • Super-short stories like this work well when they have a strong voice.
  • Use some of the features of haiku: juxtapose a small thing with a large thing (object, concern, sight); make a surprising or insightful observation about a common occurrence; use the language at the end to echo the language at the beginning, giving it a feeling of circularity or completion; be impressionistic or surreal or dreamlike; leave a lot to the imagination.
  • If you post a story as a five-part series on Twitter, put 1/5, 2/5, 3/5 etc at the end of each episode, so that readers know there is more coming.
  • If you’re posting your story to Twitter, make it a little shorter and use the hashtag #StADa so we can find it!




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