The world is moving towards photographs,” Anuj Gosalia observed to himself, scrolling through the daily newsfeed on his Facebook page some months ago. On the occasions he did come across posts that were not photographs, he was annoyed by the random content. He enjoyed reading words strung together in intelligent ways and it disappointed him that though the world has became one community on the Web, there was hardly any space on social media to promote good writers.
Gosalia decided to change that and came up with the idea of Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT), an initiative on Facebook. A select group of writers would have to weave a story based on a specified trigger word, within 140 characters only.
“Attention spans are becoming shorter. Everyone is in a hurry. I figured that given the circumstances, a reader’s attention can last only for a tweet-sized story. For writers also, it is a new kind of challenge to tell a story within just so many characters,” says Gosalia, who first created a Facebook page in March, and then launched a website for TTT.
He rounded up an army of 13 writers who he felt had the ability to think out-of-the-box and the talent to write. “Readers are invited to keep challenging writers with trigger words but I have restricted contribution of tales so that we maintain quality. Those who do want to publish stories can send in samples that could be considered to get them on board,” says Gosalia. He adds that while picking the writers he made a conscious choice to ensure that they come from different professional backgrounds so that there are different approaches towards the art of story writing.
Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer of Bang In The Middle, an advertising agency, is one of those who were invited to write stories on the TTT page. Constantly involved in the process of writing advertisements, poems and stories, Suthan shares that the trick is to first think of the different contexts in which the trigger word can be used and then to carefully avoid the obvious ones. Over the weekend, when he was given the trigger word “fire”, the images marriage, sacred ritual, cooking and passion came to mind. “I thought at length till I came up with a new plot,” says Suthan, who finally told the story in nine staccato sentences. It read — She was on heat. Like he was.