The Twitter Zombie Novel: Teaching a New Dog Newer Tricks

02.07.10 8 years ago

By now you’re familiar with the social media craze that’s swept the internet. Various websites have created connections between people that would not have met otherwise, and given the world a window into the everyday happenings of individuals from virtually every walk of life. No site succeeds at this quite as much as Twitter. Recently, businesses have realized the power that Twitter has, creating an online presence with status updates that give their organization a personality with whom people can identify.

However, only the surface of applications for twitter have been scratched. What if someone were to use twitter as a storytelling medium? What if someone came up with a truly unique way to tell a story that’s both compelling and entertaining using only 140 characters at a time? Someone has:

Man Vs. Zombies is the ongoing saga of Gus, a man who appears to exist in an alternate world where a supernatural zombie apocalypse has occurred, and his only means of communication appears to be twitter. Gus is revealed to be a slacker with a penchant for drug use and a hilariously twisted sense of humor. He traverses his hometown of Miami, witnessing bizarre supernatural occurrences while avoiding detection by the zombified population. Gus tweets his discoveries as well as his thoughts, adventures, and random thoughts throughout the day. The reader, it seems, has no way to get in touch with Gus, leaving him isolated as the reader can only observe.

One of the features that makes @manvszombies especially unique and engaging is the fact that the story is supported by photographs and videos of what Gus finds in his travels, giving an extra sense of reality to an already unusual take on the zombie genre.

It would seem we are witnessing something original being created here with Man Vs. Zombies. It’s nice to see that someone out there is using social networking for something truly creative.

Hints For Starting Your Own Twitter Novel

The basics to start up a twitter novel are simple.

  • Set up a twitter account using either the title or a name that people will associate with your novel.
  • After you’ve started tweeting, attract followers by seeking out people who are in a similar genre or interest and have a large following; after all, Twitter popularity is created by retweets and mentions, so effectively the rules of “word of mouth” apply here.
  • Spice up your writing with images using or some other twitter-friendly image sharing site. Use @manvszombies as a reference for doing this effectively.

And, while the “Twitter novel” is a relatively new concept, the folks at were also nice enough to give a tutorial on the do’s and do-not’s of starting one’s own novel here.

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