Tweet Yourself a Novel!

On Facebook, earlier today, I was having a conversation about the idea that there is 'a book in everyone'. I wondered if that resonated with people. One of the replies was that it did, but that the person didn't have time to write. How often have we all heard (and even said, or at least thought) that? Isn't that the favourite hiding place of the writer? I shared what follows, and it seemed to help some people. I worked it out about a year ago, and it helped a number of people then. Ready for a lightbulb moment?

A novel is a minimum of 50,000 words (non-fiction can be way less). Sounds huge and scary, but... 
  • A tweet is 140 characters. 
  • The average word is 5 characters long (plus a space) so you can fit around 23 words into a tweet. 
  • 2173 tweets = a novel. 
  • That's 5 tweets a day. 
  • If you could find time to write 5 tweets a day - or a couple of Facebook updates - you already have time to write a novel. 
  • In fact, if you've been on social networks for a year or more, you've ALREADY WRITTEN A NOVEL in terms of word count. 
How do you feel about starting that novel now?

Happy Writing!


P.S. I've started a group for aspiring writers here. You're welcome to join.


Anthony Cowin said...

Oh if only it was that simple. I understand what you mean though. It is a good idea to break down huge blocks of writing into small steps. A novel is just chapters, chapters are just paragraphs, paragraphs are just sentences and sentences are just words.

Start with a word,add another and soon you have a novel. Now how about actually writing a novel using 5 Tweets a day?

Nicole~ said...

This definitely takes some of the overwhelm out of it. My block is in how I want my book set up. I don't want it to read like a boring how to book. The content will flow once I get all that worked out in my head.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Anthony. Brilliant idea! If I pinch it, I'll credit you in the acknowledgements :)

Nicole. Absolutely know what you're talking about. I've found this with non-fiction. The trick is to apply exactly the same creative criteria as you would to a novel in the first instance. In other words, shut the editor out of the room and have fun with the first draft. Once you've edited it, the fun will still shine through and you'll have something that's eminently engaging and readable. Best of luck.

Extremely Average said...

I never intended to write a novel. I started blogging on Jan 2, 2010, and then on occasion, I would tell the story of a Detective in 1955 New York, who loved the Brooklyn Dodgers. Basically I added a chapter on days when I couldn't think of anything to blog about. Today I have completed 2 Henry Wood novels, the 2nd one being 69K words and the third is already over 60K. I write very few posts which aren't chapters anymore.

I am the accidental novelist.

Paul Carroll said...

Wow... I didn't realised I'd accidentally tweeted the length of a few novels. I probably have three or four on my Twitter account alone! That could have been used for a lot more writing!

I very much like the "accidental novelist" remark. Some people can't find the time to write a novel even though they blog, and you did ended up writing one because you blog. Very cool!

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