Tweetfiction - why not?

Electric Literature continues to innovate, and create a stir while doing so. In my inbox this morning was an EL missive, announcing that next week, its Twitter feed (@ElectricLit, if you're keeping score at home) will be home to a new Rick Moody story, "Some Contemporary Characters." Nice, that, but will the story be good? Moody has shown that he can craft a rich story, filled with little mini-climaxes, each building on the last, to great effect, though I imagine that in this form, his verbosity will get in the way of his pulling off this trick - one that would seem essential to making a multipart Tweetfiction work. More than likely, we'll get a patented Moody list, a la the run-through-of-the-suburban-70s that made the Ice Storm's kickoff either entrancing or aggravating, depending on your taste. (I'm in the former camp.) But even if that's what "SCC" boils down to, kudos to him and EL for giving it a shot. No, literature doesn't need saving, but every art needs innovation, and if most of that innovation produces only curiosities, so what.

What might Tweetfiction ultimately become? Limitations have always played an important role in pushing writers to make maximum use of their creative skills - witness much of poetry, from Jonson's lyrics to the best haiku. Even now, as technology eliminates most traditional limits on both writing and publishing, it also provides new ones, that spur formal innovation, and open new creative possibilities. Witness the unique qualities of cell-phone novels and stories thumb-texted by Japanese writers, pros and novices alike, as well as American Barry Yourgrau, who's made a name for himself as the gaijin who writes for keitai.

Could Tweetfiction also become a distinct form, giving rise not just to a fad, but a new aesthetic? Why not? Think of the possibilities of the twitstory as micro-serial, with each tweet a mini-prose poem, at once succint and pointed, capturing character and moving plot in the most economical, and powerful, possible way. Again, I don't think Moody is the one who'll Tweet the first such story. But someone will, and even if we forget about it in five years' time, many of use eager litfans will get a kick out of it when we first read it, and RT it to all our Twitfriends.