Confusing Execution of “Black Box”

In 2012, when the trend of social media was emerging, Jennifer Egan used Twitter as an innovative platform to narrate her story “Black Box” through live tweets. “Black Box” is about a female spy trying to steal information from her opponents in the Mediterranean, and was told an hour a day through a span of ten days. Although “Black Box” had an interesting storyline, and Twitter fiction is a creative form of storytelling, using twitter failed to enhance Egan’s story, but rather made in more confusing for readers.

Twitter fiction is unique for its ability to have readers interact and connect with its posts. Prior to publishing the tweets, Egan planned and organized the entire “Black Box” story on paper, which prevents any interactions with its readers. Since tweets were published over a span of ten days, initial readers may either lose interest, or potentially forget the storyline. Moreover, the timeline of the story does not match up with the time of each tweet, making it feel less live and more tirelessly stretched out. For example, Egan uses a lot of repetition in “Black Box” to build its plot, and although it may be useful to the story, readers will be frustrated to read multiple “you will reflect on the fact…” tweets while anticipating actual storyline (@NYerFiction). After the whole story has been published, when reading “Black Box” in its entirety, the Twitter format can be more hard to follow, compared to the traditional paragraph style story. Twitter is may be an inventive form of storytelling, but it made for a poor and confusing execution of “Black Box”.