Why write another novel when novelty beckons? Rick Moody, the author of novels like Garden State and The Ice Storm, will be tweeting his newest short story in a series of 140-character bursts for the online zine Electric Literature. Beginning Monday, Nov. 30, Moody’s “Some Contemporary Characters” will be “published” over the course of 153 tweets, sent out over three days. (Moody fans and the curious can subscribe to Electric Lit‘s Twitter feed at its Twitter page.) “It really was like writing Haiku,” says Moody of the story, which follows the relationship of an older man and younger woman. Here are the first two tweets of “Some Contemporary Characters,” which Electric Lit shared with EW exclusively:

There are things in this taxable and careworn world that can only be said in a restrictive interface with a minimum of characters:

Saw him on OKCupid. Agreed to meet. In his bio he said he had a “different conception of time.” And guess what? He didn’t show.

How did Moody come to tweet a work of fiction? Credit the clever folks at Electric Literature, whom we’ve written about before (most recently for a Michael Cunningham story in the premiere issue). “We approached Rick Moody because we admire his writing, and knew he has an inventive side,” explains Electric Lit co-founder Andy Hunter via e-mail. “The Twitter story was his idea. In a lot of ways Rick is the perfect writer to take on the project of writing a story specifically for Twitter. He’s a great storyteller who has often set formal constraints for himself in the past, particularly in his short fiction. … Some of his other stories have eschewed certain important punctuation marks, like the period. In a way, the Twitter story helps to highlight the extreme attention to language a great short story writer is likely to pay.”

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