‘I discovered that brevity has its own narrative’

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Manoj Pande | Writer and Illustrator
Manoj Pande | Writer and Illustrator

When and how did you come up with Tales on Tweet?

I didn’t. It just happened. Twitter was new as a medium then and I was just exploring it. When I noticed that when people were tweeting, they were essentially telling a story, I discovered that brevity has its own narrative, that pithy can be profound.

How did Tales on Tweet go viral on Twitter?

When I started @TalesOnTweet, I used it like it was my online diary. As I was highly influenced by Wildean epigrams, my stories used to be of that nature. Twitter as a medium allowed me to explore that form and also get instant feedback. Then, I started tagging my favourite authors on my tales to know if it was good or bad. Surprisingly, they replied back with a tale (I’m guessing they saw some merit in what I wrote). When literary legends like Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood started writing as well, the handle and the hashtag went viral on Twitter and on the Internet at large. The tales started pouring in by the dozens.

Who is your inspiration behind Tales on Tweet?

Oscar Wilde is a great inspiration to me and I have been an avid reader of The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde. He had the ability to write a story in just one line, and I found that absolutely fascinating.

Tales on Tweet carves out a distinct genre for itself within short storytelling. Do you think it will someday become financially viable?

Yes, of course; in fact, it has really happened with me. I have recently signed a book deal with Harper Collins India. The anthology should come out in January.

Who are the authors who have contributed so far?

Tales on Tweet has now become a unique platform where authors from India, Germany, Italy, Ireland and many other countries across globe share and express their ideas in one space. Some of the big names are Salman Rushdie, Margaret E Atwood, Shashi Tharoor, Teju Cole and Jeet Thayil, among others.

How can one participate in the Tales on Tweet and what’s next in 2015?

Sign in to Twitter and tag your tales with the handle @TalesOnTweet or with the hashtag #TalesOnTweet. I am working on a novel based in Darjeeling.

TANYA VERMA

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