A Scottish author has found a rather difficult way to write his new book-by posting each sentence on the micro-blogging website Twitter.
Peter Urpeth yesterday began posting his novel,
, on the website, 140 characters a time.
"He was my father, that's all, and I was elsewhere at the time of his passing," The Scotsman quoted the first posting as saying.
And 21 minutes later, he posted the second extract, which said: "I am uncertain of the exact day and date on which he died. On reflection, I am not too sure even of the year. But I know that it was summer."
The novel tells the story of the strange life of the last son of an obscure branch of the Clan MacKenzie and is set on Scotland's northwest coast and in the Outer Hebrides.
Urpeth is the writing development co-ordinator for Hi-arts, the Highlands and Islands arts development agent.
But going by the pace of one tweet a day, it could take him close to 14 years to complete the novel, given that the average book is 80,000 words long and there are roughly 16 words per line.
Explaining his decision to tweet his latest book, Urpeth said: "As a novelist, I am intrigued by the opportunities, challenges and limitations the digital world generates, and I want to explore and experience new digital media from the viewpoint of a writer of long fiction.
"My new novel will be written tweet by tweet with an undertaking by me to add at least one new tweet section every day until the end is reached and the archive of tweets will remain accessible so that new readers can catch-up at any time.
"Normally, as a novelist writing and publishing in the traditional manner, the book would be finished and have gone through countless revisions before being exposed to a readership. This one is published as it is written.
"It is new at the point of every tweet, and I also aim to reflect on and respond to feedback from readers. One immediate challenge is to make sentences that have economy, and which work within the limitations of the 140-character maximum."
He said: "This is not a totally new idea - tweet novels have been posted before, and some have been bought-up and subsequently published in traditional form. So this is also an exploration of digital marketing for writers, and maybe a new way of reading or experiencing fiction, too," he added.