This Writer Just Schooled Us All on Suspenseful, Awkwardly Comic Twitter Storytelling

Building anticipation, 140 characters at a time

Joe Craig, a British writer and children's novelist, just demonstrated his mastery in adapting long-form copy to the medium of Twitter … by recounting the apparently true tale of a very awkward moment in his life. 

The whole thing could have been condensed into one tweet, but where would the fun have been in that? No, Craig shows us that it takes a master writer to keep 'em hanging on your every short, sweet, character-limited messge.

Here's the story, with some notes on craft below.

The beauty of the whole thing is how Craig uses breaks between tweets to create dramatic tension. For example: 

"The boot light came on. I was staring into the face of a woman!" 

"The woman was naked." 

"On top of the woman was a man. Also naked." 

Instead of stringing those into one tweet (there was plenty of room), he keeps up the tension and keeps us in the mind of his character—a hero rescuing a trapped woman—until the last possible moment of realization: He is actually ruining "happy fun times" for some poor couple who are so desperate to bang that they have laid back the seats in a Renault Clio.

And when we think our protagonist has reached his lowest point, that surely his awkward embarrassment cannot be exceeded, his dog makes things worse by jumping into the boot with the two naked strangers—an act which, in his efforts to avoid confusing his pet and muddying its training, Craig actually rewards. 

What's key is dropping all those details at their own pace, taking a tweet pause where he would have taken a real pause if addressing a live audience, and giving us time to wonder in between. It isn't hard to see that, by following this method, you too can turn Twitter into a storytelling medium par excellence.