Texting and social media in fiction


Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: Texting and social media in fiction

  1. #1

    Texting and social media in fiction

    There are some excellent examples of epistolary novels out there (Dracula and Frankenstein are my favourite), but are there any good ones that use social media (texts, tweets, facebook, even instagram, etc...) to the same end?

    I've come across e-mails in Artemis, and thought it wasn't done particularly well: e-mail already has an antiquated feel to it, so in a near future sci-fi it felt like sending telegrams (add to that the emails were organising illegal activities - e-mails would leave a trail, even now you're better off using Whatsapp or some such).


    Might be hard to write an entire story in tweets, but it sounds like a good challenge for a short story.

  2. #2
    Certainly could be. Would probably read like something close to a screenplay.

    With experimental formats, however, there's always the catch of "Could this story be better told in a normal format?" and "Is this just a gimmick?" Sure, as an experimental way to change things up, I say "Jump in the deep end." It'll work or it won't.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    "Could this story be better told in a normal format?" and "Is this just a gimmick?" Sure, as an experimental way to change things up, I say "Jump in the deep end." It'll work or it won't.
    Good questions. It could be used just as a gimmick (not necessarily a bad thing - recently saw a film use the same gimmick quite well), but i was thinking of just integrating it into normal stories: apparently we spend an average of 1/7 of our waking lives on social media, and this is only increasing, so it seems to me that if we want to write about believable characters doing unbelievable things, adding social media to the mix should be part of our arsenal.

  4. #4
    I would hazard that integrating it into normal modern stories is almost a must. People do spend a lot of time texting and on social media so leaving such things out is likely to make the characters and their interactions less believable.

    I do use texting and mention other electronic line of communication in Pinocchio, though, because most of said interactions aren't vital to the plot, I don't mention social media. Part of that is because the characters have a small relevant social circle and tend to be superficially involved in plastic relationships outside that very intimate circle. If said relationships--neighborhood get-togethers, coworkers, social media, etc.--aren't important, I'm not wasting the words on 'em. Texting and the use of cell phones, however, is vital.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    There are some excellent examples of epistolary novels out there (Dracula and Frankenstein are my favourite), but are there any good ones that use social media (texts, tweets, facebook, even instagram, etc...) to the same end?

    I've come across e-mails in Artemis, and thought it wasn't done particularly well: e-mail already has an antiquated feel to it, so in a near future sci-fi it felt like sending telegrams (add to that the emails were organising illegal activities - e-mails would leave a trail, even now you're better off using Whatsapp or some such).


    Might be hard to write an entire story in tweets, but it sounds like a good challenge for a short story.
    This has been done. There's actually competitions out there for writing entire stories in tweets. There are movies that imitate the platform too - Unfriended or whatever. Found footage stuff. I have used email formats in short stories and they're okay, basically a more modern, hip form of the traditional epistolary novel.

    I think the biggest problem with this sort of thing is it inevitably dates your story. It might seem shit hot modern right now, to write stories in emails or tweets, but eventually (like, in the next few years) a lot of this social media stuff is, assuming it doesn't disappear entirely, going to evolve to a point it's basically unrecognizable. Fifteen years ago everybody had a Myspace account and *that* was the modern digital platform. Now, who can remember even what a MySpace page looked like or how the site worked?

    Not saying don't do it, but it's damn gimmicky and will likely not have staying power.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

    Hidden Content


  6. #6
    Worth bearing in mind there's also, nowadays, a movement away from a lot of these sites. I personally don't use them, this forum notwithstanding, and most people I know my age and younger either don't have an account or don't use it. Seems a lot of them (Facebook particularly) jumped the shark a few years ago and now serve increasingly smaller demographic pools. Facebook these days is crawling with people sharing and arguing fake news and don't get me started on Twitter.

    Obviously there are generational and demographic variations and generalizing is dangerous, but I would certainly argue much of social media is no longer as ubiquitous nor as fashionable as it once was and a lot of the platforms have PR problems regarding bots, hackers, scammers, etc. Which only matters when one considers what prospective publishers, editors and readers may be looking for.

    In 2010 I'm sure the idea of integrating storytelling with social media probably was the most exciting thing ever. These days?
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

    Hidden Content


  7. #7
    That's an interesting idea. I agree that an entire novel written in tweets might be too much, but a short story or script could work.

  8. #8
    WIP_DysKis has a lot of epistolary chapters in undefined "messages". For ebook format, a lot of text and font formatting is stripped, so unless I wanted to put screenshots in my book at great hassle and unfriendliness to screen readers and people who have to adjust text size for readability, I had to use text. Flavorful platform specific stuff goes away as a waste of space. Character voice becomes important. One of my characters who is only spoken to online is basically allergic to the shift key.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Might be hard to write an entire story in tweets, but it sounds like a good challenge for a short story.
    From back in the ancient days when Tweets could only have 120 characters....

    From the LM challenge about 7 years ago...

    https://www.writingforums.com/thread...=1#post1545106
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Worth bearing in mind there's also, nowadays, a movement away from a lot of these sites...
    I'm less focused on particular sites, which i agree could age quickly, but the general tone of them - if Facebook goes, it'll be replaced by something similar. The data i'm aware of has social media use increasing, whatever that platform might be, so i think it'll become less a gimmick, more just a part of life that sometimes will be useful to represent in fiction. I agree text based messages would timestamp a work, especially given the trend towards videos on social media - but that need not necessarily be a bad thing, as with many of these things it's in the execution.



    Speaking of social media, this video briefly overviews the subject from the perspective of film.


Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.