By Story Star Publishing correspondent Elinor Rees
It has been announced recently that Bloomsbury will publish a book that is written completely in the style of Twitter. The book focuses on the one hundred and forty character sentences exchanged via Twitter between two people who meet in New York on New Year’s Eve. The action unfolds over the course of a year and is entitled ‘The Twitter Diaries’.
It is an interesting idea as the book will be completely character driven due to its complete dependence on dialogue and builds on the concepts of books such as ttyl and ttfn by Lauren Myracle, which are written entirely in text messaging language. All of these books are trying to challenge the status quo approach to books and should be applauded for their innovation but should we be encouraging more writers to break the established rules of the literary world?
The importance placed on grammar and structure within writing is rightly so as they not only promote succinct ways of communicating but just make it easier for everyone to understand a variety of writing and the messages they want to convey. Correct grammar not only shows a respect for language but demands respect in return; if someone can effectively demonstrate how to use and manipulate language then they have harnessed a skill that takes years to master and that is definitely admirable.
However, there is a growing attitude that adhering to rules on how to write and structure communication is a sign of snobbery and a way of making yourself appear ‘better’ than everyone else. If the improper structure of a sentence grates on your ear then it can be quite easy for you to be labelled as a ‘snob’.
Books that embrace new forms of communication such as Twitter and texting are, therefore, almost leading the way in the rebellion against what is deemed correct. They are not only embracing these new forms but they are actively endorsing them by creating whole narratives around them. But is this something we should be worried about?
The chances are that the majority of your friends have a Twitter account and all of them have a mobile phone so these new narrative styles are simply recreating a prevalent part of our communication system rather than competing with them. They are taking what people enjoy and putting their own spin on it to create something else for people to enjoy. These books still require creativity, originality and structure like any other book but the way the stories are told are what make them unique.
Books are a way of communicating new and old ideas and it’s important that we all know the rules so that we can all understand these ideas but new ways of communicating can try and bring these ideas to a wider net of people who may be disenfranchised by what they perceive to be strict rules. Originality is what drives publishing but it is the established structures underpin it.