Author Showcase: Stephen Ramey

October 26, 2010

Stephen V. Ramey @svramey writes wrongs at the New Castle. Find his blog at His work has appeared in trapeze magazine on multiple occasions. To conclude October, he has agreed to share his thoughts on twitter fiction.

tm: Tell us a little about your writing style and how you construct a story.

SR: Sometimes it begins with an image, more often with a sentence flashing through my thoughts. The challenge then becomes adding a sense of movement to the piece. Sometimes this means inverting the inciting image in some way, other times it’s a matter of thinking in plot terms: beginning, middle, end. On occasion, I will find an evocative line in a short story I’ve written and lay that out on the twitter table for dissection. For every twitter story I place, there are two or three that do not work out. One thing I do religiously is revise. I don’t think a single twitter story has gone out without at least three or four wording rearrangements, word substitutions, or complete rewrites. The first attempt is usually NOT genius, in my experience, though it often contains a grain of something worth pursuing.

tm: What made you decide to start writing twitter fiction?

SR: Failure. I took a course in flash fiction writing from the good folks at Flash Me Magazine. One of the exercises was to write three twitter fictions. I failed miserably. No one understood them, no one felt moved by them, and no one had constructive criticism for making them stronger. Since I don’t like failing, I kept trying…and trying…and trying. Ironically, I’ve since placed two of these three twitter stories with respected markets, but it was a desire to overcome failure that pushed me to that end. Nowadays, I mainly write twitter fiction as a diversion from larger projects. I love the challenge of the process. Compressing a story experience into 140 characters? How cool is that?

tm: What is the difference between “genred” fiction and “literary” fiction?

SR: In the simplest terms, literary twitter strives for a sense of emotional resonance, while genre twitter seeks to invert or expose an idea. Many strong twitter stories are crafted in the gray area between these poles. My work tends toward the genre end of the spectrum, but I do try to incorporate a literary sensibility. I still recall reading an article in Writers Digest many years ago advising writers to pay attention to rhythms in their prose. That opened my eyes to an entire new dimension and I’ve not been the same writer since. I also read an interview with William Gibson, and his assertion that his gift to genre was to bring literary technique to science fictional idea. I found that encouraging. I guess you could call me transgenred, a literary soul trapped within a genre thought process.

tm: What is your favorite genre to write in twitter?

SR: Horror is easiest, because it’s fairly easy to bludgeon dark sap from an innocent root. I find Science Fiction most challenging because I’m not really an idea guy by nature. Consequently, Science Fiction is my favorite genre to attempt, because I fail so often.


2 Responses to “Author Showcase: Stephen Ramey”

  1. Very accurate portrayal of what it’s like to write twitfic, a point of view you don’t get while immersed in the 140 character medium. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  2. […] over at trapeze magazine in October. They published not one, not two, but three tweets and an interview. Thanks to Jessica Otto for offering me a chance to bare my tiny talents in […]

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