Train story – the 0823 Colchester to Norwich service

Tomorrow I’m traveling from Colchester to Norwich on the 0823 @greateranglia service. I’m planning to use it as a little experiment in twitter narratives and would love you to join in!

trainstory image 1

The idea is simple. Over the hour of the journey in carriage C a story will emerge. The characters in that story will be based on the people in the carriage… But who they are , what they think and do, the journey they are on and so on will be utterly fictional and all of it drawn from twitter suggestions (using the hash tag #trainstory)

Essentially I plan to introduce – briefly – the people in the carriage at about 0825 using the hash tag #trainstory and then essentially anyone can join in…naming characters, describing them, putting words or thoughts into their mouths, providing the connections and so on. Together with their actual actions these twitter interactions will form the narrative of the story.

It may not work but that’s kind of the point. But if you get a chance do get involved – tweet your suggestions using the hash tag #trainstory and follow the thing as it does (or does not) develop.

I’ll post the results on the blog….and explain a bit more as to why I’m interested in this little experiment


3 thoughts on “Train story – the 0823 Colchester to Norwich service

  1. So this was the result of #trainstory1 – not spectacular – but not a huge failure either (and a whole lot of fun).

    If you’re interested Pasco Kevlin is doing something similar – over here on facebook (

    Be interested to know what people thought – what worked, what didn’t. Too much author, too many rules, what else??? As my tweets were geo tagged may try mapping them onto google maps..

    But for now the purpose of posterity here is #trainstory as it unfurled on the 0823 Colchester to Norwich (via twitter)

    so our cast includes….sleeping woman (“She looked so peaceful asleep, but she had already taken her last breath…who would be next?” [@nickwhitej3], a mod, a man of indeterminate age dressed in black and also includes a young fella with frizzy mop hair cut and two business people (1m 1f) buried over a national grid plan. Now all we need is an opening line…

    ‘it was a bright cold day in February, and the clocks showed 13 min delay as Winston took his seat on the Victory Express’ (@billt)

    ….there was nothing particularly unusual about the journey…that is until we reached Manningtree

    i notice a woman running down the platform she’s pleading with the guard, the train departs. A lucky escape. (@mbdtweets)

    the search for pants, socks and a vest took longer than anticipated. It’ll have to be the 8.47….(@pascoqbism)

    it was as we entered Ipswich that smiley man chose to speak

    “The man in the flat cap shifted uneasily in his seat. Real commuters don’t talk!” (nickwhitej3)

    I could sense a story happening across trains….what of @billt ‘s friend Winston and the 13 min delay on the victory express and what of @MBDtweet woman running down the platform pleading to board coach c?. Amongst all that fuss the carriage empties at Ipswich. national grid pair man in black and mod have all left the train

    frizzy mop man sits humming in the background. sleeping woman didn’t stir

    the smell of stale coffee from tie blackberry-wielding man next to makes me nauseous. He talks to Simon (@billt)

    Simon is the lad with the frizzy mop hair on the 0823 . Simons not happy…and to complicate matters Simon has lost his (other) phone

    Mod is deep undercover detective, late woman his back-up, Mr Black suspicious. (@nickwhitej3)

    – anyone know what happened to the woman in Manningtree? who missed the train?

    they are heading to court for custody hearing. not his. or Simon’s. perhaps not even children. Could be Pokemon (@billt)

    the carriage has become a disease ridden coffin of coughs and still the sleeping lady fails to wake (@mbdtweets)

    disease ridden indeed. smiley man is spluttering away right now and asking what I’m doing – this could be tricky

    and still the woman sleeps. this Chekhovian air is almost stifling.

    outside this disease ridden carriage with a distinct hint of death another narrative is developing – a custody hearing, a woman left desperate to board on Ipswich station, the mysterious victory express.

    and still mop haired Simon is on the phone and the woman sleeps.

    as the guy in his headphones next to the woman asleep bobs his head to the beat, as the train moves on (@SallyannScurrel)

    smiley man is speaking to me again – give him voice?

    all terminates at the termini (@billt)

    I say what! he carries on…

    arrival at diss means we are heading to the denouement of #trainstory

    frizzy mopped Simon ends his call to winston on the victory express and leaves us. Still no sound from the sleeping woman. im beginning to believe @NickWhiteJ3 was right. maybe mod was a detective after all…smiley man is still chatting away unconcerned by the womans potential predicament..

    ..As the sun dappled the discarded Metros , the smiley man turned away from the window & said, Very flat, Norfolk (@goodchildbyname)

    not as flat as i feel i replied to smiley man but still he carried on #trainstory

    ‘ladies and gentlemen we will shortly be arriving in Norwich where this narrative will terminate’

    smiley man is determined to follow me off the train but sleeping woman sleeps on.

    the train arrives at her final destination she sighs + smiles at the man opposite. unaware of the part he played (@mbdtweets)

  2. Pingback: Wivenhoe fact and fiction #wivfaf « Matthew Linley’s Blog

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