A Novel Told in Instagram Posts

Instagram Novel

I’m starting an experiment today: I’m writing a novel in Instagram posts. I’m not sure how many times a week I’m going to post new mini-chapters (Instagram’s limit is allegedly 2,2000 characters per caption), but every week following the chapters, I’m going to post the full chapter here.

Here’s why:

A Micro-Blogging Social Photo Thing

If you’re a writer, you know that trying to get people to read anything more than a blog post is almost impossible. Even blog posts are like Cheetos – most people eat them constantly, but they don’t really remember them later, or even finish them at the time.

On the other hand, Instagram photos are always getting read and liked. Like I wrote a while ago about the background story behind “Humans of New York,” there’s a chance that making stuff for free ends up making money (and getting you readers!) in the long run. It just needs lots of pictures and lots of interesting stories.

There are other reasons I think Instagram could be a cool, experimental place for a book:

  • Hashtags make it really easy for people to discover new stuff and they are literally always discovering new stuff
  • Even if people don’t read the caption, they get drawn in by the photo
  • My novel, Blest, is coming out on March 15 and I want to have something else for people to read if they finish it

The InstaNovel 

The novel is called “Luxury Coops.” It takes place in Brooklyn.

Since Instagram’s caption limit is 2,200 characters – not words, characters – I want to make each little chunk stand on its own. That means almost every chapter is told from a new character’s perspective.

This is a goofy thing to try and it could easily crash and burn. But it really goes back to any writing class that you can take – a photo prompt – and it gives me the opportunity to share some pictures on Instagram without having to think of a cool caption.

If you want to follow the progress of Luxury Coops, check it out by following me on Instagram @bcl00 or you can take a look at the Instagram posts here.

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2 Responses to A Novel Told in Instagram Posts

  1. Blaise! Great idea, and I’d love to do a blog interview with you about it. Drop a line to kevinbrennan520(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Looking forward to follow-ups about the response you get…

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