Friday, September 21, 2012

Live tweeting 'The Hunger Games'

As a lark this summer, I decided to 'live tweet' the hunger games. I created an account separate from my personal and professional ones and wrote timed tweets through novel, tweeting as the characters would during the story. It's not very good - but it's an example at least! The URL for the twitter feed is:
You need to scroll down to the very bottom and load all the tweets - twitter shows your latest tweet first.
I used a program that allowed me to write tweets and store them to post at later dates. That way I could write timed tweets for days into the future. The goal was to have a site that teachers could show students as an example if they wanted this as an assignment option.

  1. I really got to know the story and the characters. I knew the Hunger Games but now I really know it. Not sure when I'll ever want to read it again. 
  2. I was able to learn more about the characters and their development as I tried to speak as they would in situations presented.

  1. Writing as a character and nailing their voice can be difficult when you're trying to speak as they would but not as they did (due to copyright issues). Not happy with the voice of a number of characters as I presented them. As well, at times all grammar went out the window. Combo of the format and my laptop being cranky.
  2. Not all novels are compact in timeline as 'The Hunger Games'. Would work for something like 'Lord of the Flies', less for something like 'Night'.
  3. A number of the tributes do not have official names. Found those that I could, had to refer to them by district if I couldn't.

 The Process:

  1. Created an account. 
  2. Read and reread the book. Decided on what was important to tweet. Five pages of her discussing how hard it is to live in a cave might merit one tweet, one page of battle might merit 10 tweets from several characters.
  3. Wrote with #character at the start but did add some hashtags as they are generally used at the end (eg. #cato That boy from 12 was playing us!!! he's with the girl!! #killpeeta #CATOROCKS). For those unfamiliar, hashtags are used to either link to other tweets on a topic or to express a quick thought on a topic, minus spaces. (sample tweet : "Allowed the child to eat staples #theregoesparentoftheyear). Many of the tweets from Cato ended with #CATOROCKS. Many from Haymitch ended with #ineedadrink or #stayalive.
  4. Tried to ensure that characters were represented in the feed, even if they didn't have dialog in the book at that section. One example would be near the end when Katniss is waking in her room and hears yelling. That yelling is quite possibly Haymitch talking about how she's not to get cosmetic surgery. Included a tweet from him in that instance. 
  5. Used twuffer (another website) to write tweets to post at certain times. I could write days and days and days of tweets in one sitting, making sure to chose what time they posted. 
  6. Started to hate the process 
  7. Continued through the story, breaking character at the end to put any references and thanks I needed to put there.

What I like about what I've done is that I have a definite example of how to use twitter for a project such as this. Now, instead of just stating 'you can use twitter' blah, blah, blah, I can show them how I did it. Always useful!


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