The Rules for #140Line

#140Line is a game on Twitter for writers to share a line from their current work in progress (WIP).  The rules are simple.  In loving memory of the old 140 character limitation that was the foundation of tweeting for years, lines shared for #140Line should contain 140 characters or less.  Of course, no one is going to count, just make a good estimation.

Each week, there will be an optional theme, announced ahead of time.  It can be found @linein140 on Twitter.  Choose a line that uses the theme word, or demonstrates the meaning of the word.  Be creative, and have fun with it, and be sure to use the hashtag, #140Line, so we can all find your talented work.

This challenge is an opportunity to tighten up your writing.  The goal is to express a powerful idea or image concisely.  It offers an opportunity to evaluate the words you use and the way you use them.  So, join @seekingredress and @TAwrites as we rock the old school and share a line in 140 characters or less, every Thursday, on Twitter.

140 Character Precision

I can’t deny that I love (and also hate) Twitter.  Because I have a bizarre obsession with news, my standard operating procedure as a writer is to have two computers on, and one of them always has a window open to Twitter.  I know, it’s a time suck.  I’m okay with it though, since I do find a lot of ideas and inspiration there.  I also find a lot of very supportive fellow writers on Twitter.

There are so many Twitter hashtag games for writers.  I’ve written about this before.  I enjoy posting lines from my work in progress, or WIP, and reading the lines of others.  There is some serious talent to be found on these different hashtags.   And, with the 140 character restriction, there’s some serious creativity in making those lines fit without losing their shine.

Along with the inspiration found in reading others’ work, I find that sharing a line, confined to 140 characters, is a great editing tool.  I don’t know how many times, while searching for a keyword to fit a theme, I have found over-used words in sentences or paragraphs.  And I’ve made many a change to lines in order to make the point more concise, changes that have been incorporated into my draft.

Recently, Twitter made a pretty huge change to the platform.  Tweets are no longer limited to 140 characters.  They can now contain a whopping 280 characters!  This is a game changer for line sharing.  I’m sure many love it.  I don’t.  It isn’t that I don’t want to see more of the work of other writers.  I miss the precision of 140 characters.

I’m certain I’m not alone with this opinion.  So, maybe all of us who feel a bit disgruntled with this change need a new hashtag game.  Something like, #140line, or #linein140, where we strive to keep our lines close to the old-school rules.

What do you think?  Do you love the change?  Or hate it?  Does it improve line sharing for writers, or is something of the challenge and value of 140 characters lost?

 

*A good one-stop source of information on the different games can be found here.