Most of us are familiar with Twitter—140 characters max and whoosh it’s out there in the world, lost amid millions of other tweets. For those who do tweet, have you considered spinning your tweets into something more creative? Like stories? Darren Cormier has and he’s pulled it together in a book aptly titled “A Little Soul 140 Twitterstories.”
The premise of this book is fascinating—140 twitterstories. Having never thought of posts on Twitter as stories, this was entirely new to me. Could it be done?Perhaps. But not exactly. It takes discipline and tremendous control to adhere to a structure as limiting as this. Cormier’s introduction states, “This collection was born out of laziness,” but I’d give him more credit than that. Considering our technological time period and our need for things both immediate and fast, I’d say this is exactly what the world of literature should applaud. However, his title promises one thing and his content delivers another. Cormier is unable to follow through with his “twitterstories,”; many of them exceed the promised 140 characters and a few of them fall short. But, to be fair, he doesn’t keep that a secret. Instead, from the very start, he says first “there aren’t exactly 140 [stories]” and second, “You may notice that some are longer than the 140 character limit.”
All technicalities aside, there are some beautiful pieces embedded in this book, beauty that could have only been discovered by selecting words with specific limitations in mind. One of my favorite images is of, “eaves crashing over the frozen railing,” as an unidentified male sits inside a car. Through reading a book as unique as this, you come to realize how little you need to know about a character to successfully capture tangible emotions.
Cormier takes various approaches to these stories and each helps propel his book to a crescendo of an ending. From vignettes that are solely character driven or dialogue centered to pieces surrounding an image or perspective, the author does a remarkable job of showcasing the various approaches one can take when creating a twitterstory.
“A Little Soul” is a quick read, a book you can most definitely devour in a few hours, and while not all of Cormier’s stories will follow you long after you’ve set it aside, there are definitely some that will. I leave you with what I think is one of his best--
New Town, New
That’s what friends told him.
He looks at the unpacked boxes
around the apartment hoping he
hadn’t packed any of her stuff in his