Publetariat Interview: New mediums, Twitter, and storytelling

Last week, I was interviewed by April over at Publetariat about the story I’m telling via Twitter. As one of the central touchstones for the indie publishing movement, she thought the whole idea of creating a story via Twitter — something that would really never transfer to paper in its original format — was interesting, and that’s where our conversation kind of started.

The interview went on for a bit, so it had to be broken into a couple parts, but part one is over here: Twitter As A New Medium In Authorship.

Because it went on a while (and because I’m unforgivably verbose when I get going) some bits had to be left on the cutting room floor, but I’m really happy with the thing as a whole, even if the transitions from one question to the next are a little herky-jerky, due to the necessities of editing.

One piece that makes me sound nearly intelligent:

I think it’s long past time that writers look at new mediums for their work. Paper is just a medium, and as our world (and the smaller publishing world within it) changes, it makes sense for writers to take a look at the tools around us and see if there aren’t some that we overlooked. Artists and sculptors do this sort of thing all the time; “Maybe I can paint on this building, maybe I can make something out of this old car… wait, even better: maybe I can paint on this building with this old car! Genius!” Tom Waits likes to go into hardware stores with a mallet and see what kind of sounds he can find.

What do storytellers use? Spoken words… and paper. That’s it. Very recently, people have considered the still hotly-contested idea of taking the-thing-that’s-on-the-paper and reproducing that exact same thing electronically, and that’s fine, but that isn’t storytelling intrinsically designed for the electronic medium – I mean so intrinsically designed for that medium that it doesn’t actually translate well back to paper or spoken words.

Maybe this story about Finnras is that kind of non-transferable thing – if so, I’m comfortable with that. It’s fun for me and for the people reading it.

The following sentence, which was cut for good reasons, but which I like: “People are trying to take things that were built in/for an electronic medium and force it ‘back’ into a paper format. I’m starting to think ‘maybe you can’t always do that, and maybe that’s okay.'”
Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and got me thinking about things which, frankly, I usually don’t. Parts 2 and 3 go up next week.

The number you are trying to reach…

Things have been a little crazy in my personal corner of the Internet for the last couple weeks.  Let me see if I can give you a tour and tell you where I moved all the furniture:


  • My ‘main’ blog, which was at, is now right at It also has a new design, which is apparently different enough that people thought it was a mistake.  The newsfeed for this blog has also changed — the new feed can be had simply by clicking on the big orange button in the top right corner of the page.
  • Random Average is no longer just a blog, but a blog, a forum, a scheduling calendar, and a PONY!  You can get to it via the same ol’, but the newsfeed has changed: there’s one for the forums and a different one for the blog.  They’re all linked off the front page of THAT site, top left.
  • Adrift didn’t move, but the news feed is different than it was, and the look is different.  Easiest thing to do in that case is to just go to and get new links.
  • With all this done, I’m completely ‘off’ of Movable Type — the only thing left up are the eight years of archived posts from both Average-bear (which didn’t make the jump to in the first place) and eight years of Random-Average gaming stuff.  The Random Average archives are linked off the new Ning-based R-A site (top left),  and the Average-bear archives are… exactly where they are… which is where you’ll find them if you know where to look.  Ahem.

Not changed:

  • FireflyWiki, RandomWiki, Storyball, doyceandkate — all safe as houses and very unlikely to change. (All those sites are built with PmWiki which, unlike Movable Type, has actually made updating and maintaining them easier, rather than harder.)

An explanation of what’s going on with this Finnras/Adrift thing.

What, if I can ask, are you doing?
The basic idea is to tell a story via serialized flash fiction. Wow, that’s a lot of annoying pop-terminology in a fairly short sentence.
1. I’m posting a story, via twitter.
2. I will make one post a day, advancing the story (allegedly).
3. Each post will be no more than 140 characters in length, due to the way twitter works.

It’s a bit like writing one or two comic panels a day. It’s a bit like haiku. It’s an exercise in saying more with less, and trying to make the thing interesting each day, as well as overall.

It’s actually pretty fun.

I’m collecting the whole thing on a blog. If you want to view it that way, visit the website (Newsreader people can subscribe here.)

Alternately, you can twitter-follow @Finnras to read it in it’s raw, immediate form. There’s also an RSS feed there, which I have no doubt you can locate on your own.

How long will this madness continue?
I have a pretty good idea of what happens for quite some time ahead of where we are at this point in the story. Getting through all that 140 characters at a time will take quite awhile, by which point I might have even more ideas about what happens next.

What I’m saying is this could go on for awhile.

Where did you get such a cool/crazy/stupid idea?
I was inspired by the tales of one Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer and Professional Hero. There’s lots more out there on the internet about twittering short fiction, and that’s all cool, but none of it provided inspiration for this beyond Othar… and a character (Finnras) I invented a few years back and never really got a chance to hang out with.

The setting? Some of the broadest brush strokes within the setting come from the “skeletal setting” provided in Matt Wilson’s Galactic RPG.