Social Writing

Yes I posted a bit about this yesterday, but I wanted to expand on that.

I really like the idea of getting readers involved in the story. Not just the story itself, but the process. That’s what I’ve tried to do (when I’ve made the time) with various blogs over the years. I got to thinking I should be getting people more involved with the characters too. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I started putting up character bios for Atlantis (I’ll be reposting those here soon).  I started thinking though, what can I do to really pull the readers into the story and give them a unique glimpse of the character. Then I thought, what if the characters twittered?

Yesterday I started my story telling Twitter experiment. I’m using an established pulp character who people might recognize for my test, Doc Savage. Now he’s still a bit obscure, but I figured if I could reach out to a few fans of Doc Savage and get their impressions on what I’m doing with the concept I could see if it was worth pursuing for Atlantis. The concept is to have the character do regular Twitters as if they’re an everyday person. Sometimes they’ll be twittering from their adventure (which is what I’m having Doc Savage do from the start). Other times it will be some down time and we’ll see what they do behind the scenes. This concept particularly appeals to me for ongoing mediums, like the pulp stories I’m attempting to tell with Atlantis and comic books.

With Doc Savage I’m playing it off the cuff as it were. I’m skimming back through the Fortress of Solitude story and trying to pick interesting moments to tweet. The goal is to give the readers some insight into the story but give enough information to make people who haven’t read it curious about reading it.

Anyway, I think this could be a big thing, but it can be a bit time consuming. I doubt I could keep up very many characters and still have any sort of life. It might help if I scripted Twitters as I’m writing, keep them inline with the story. I would also really like to actually have the characters blog, it wouldn’t be a regular thing, probably just once a week. I think it could do a lot to keep readers coming back for ongoing stories and to flesh out the characters even more. I think it will build an attachment to the characters and make big moments, good and bad, have a bigger impact for those people.

To me this feels like a natural extension of story telling, We see more and more mediums giving us glimpses into characters and the creative process through special features and dircetors cuts (even comics have gotten into the game with directors cuts of comics including things like scripts and character sketches. I’m wondering what other writers and readers think of this as a story telling technique and if it’s going to have any bearing on wether or not you would read the story.