Dan Baum Tells Stories on Twitter


Writing a story in the 140 characters allowed by Twitter is nearly impossible, but Dan Baum has managed to do it. Baum chronicled his rise and fall as a staff writer for the New Yorker in bursts of fewer than 140 characters. Reading his page in chronological order from the bottom up, with all the unnatural line breaks, can be disorienting. But the story has wit, a plot, and plenty of windows into one of the most sought after jobs in writing.

Here are four Tweets that provide a good example of his Twitter narrative (Twarrative?):

I must say, though, the office itself is a little creepy. I didn’t work there. I live in Colorado. But I’d visit 3-4X a year.”

“Everybody whispers.”

“It’s not exactly like being in a library; it’s more like being in a hospital room where somebody is dying.”

“Like someone’s dying, and everybody feels a little guilty about it.”

Laura Cooley
5/14/2009 3:04:50 AM

I enjoyed Dan Baum's Twitter stream about his experience as a writer for the New Yorker. As someone who doesn't (yet) tweet or twitter, I was glad I didn't have to read each tweet as they came in, bleat by bleat. (Sorry, but some people have way too much time on their hands!) Thank you, UTNE, for posting it all at once. I think too that Baum and his wife do a great service in posting both their winning proposals and those that did not make the editor's cut. That takes both courage and confidence. Thank you!

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