How Kadaria Ahmed, Molara Wood, Kola Tubosun, Ruona Meyer, other Nigerian writers plan to jointly author a book on Twitter from self-isolation

Just like the popular proverb, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, some Nigerian writers are not letting the challenge of social distancing and self-isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic limit them. They have come up with an initiative to bring out positivity from the present situation.

While schools, worship centers, markets, concerts among other social activities are on hold, there is a lot of time on people's hands and while many may still be wondering how to make use of it, writers like Kadaria Ahmed, Molara Wood, Kola Tubosun, Ruona Meyer among many others want to jointly author a book on Twitter as citizens across the country are confined to their homes.

Television host and media entrepreneur, Kadaria Ahmed is the initiator of the idea. She took to Twitter on Wednesday to share the initiative with other writers and it was well received and has garnered a lot of interests from others.

She tweeted: "An idea or maybe a challenge. Can we write a novel, novella or a short story while in isolation on twitter? Collectively? A story with multiple authors we can publish? Titled, don't laugh #LoveInTheTimesOfCorona." She later changed the title to "My Corona Love Story".

She tagged Molara Wood, Abubakar Ibrahim, Victor Ehikhamenor, Ruona Meyer and Kola Tubosun in the tweet and they have all accepted to be part of it.

Kola Tubosun, a linguist and writer who led the team that developed Nigerian voice accent for Google wrote "Here's how I think it could work: each paragraph/contribution can be a screenshot instead of a tweet. That way, you get more words in. Also easier to read."

While supporting Tubosun's suggestion, Molara Wood, an award winning writer and former arts and culture editor of the defunct 234Next newspaper expressed her concern about coordinating the process.

"How do we get a coherent narrative without a sense as to who writes next segment of thread? How to prevent multiple contributors writing to same segment? Or story going in several new directions at once? How to chart a clear path? I may be overthinking this," she tweeted.

Ruona Meyer, an award-winning investigative journalist suggested that each writer should take turns writing the next 280 characters tweet.

"We all take numbers. One person starts, writes up to the characters of a tweet and the next person takes over, on and on until we are at person number one again and we have hit wordcounts?" Meyer said.

Her first tweet on the thread "I'm in", was quickly turned into a story by Victor Ehikhamenor, a writer and one of Africa's most innovative artists. The tweet has been adopted as the opening story for the proposed book.

Ehikhamenor wrote: "She asked for another shot of whisky, the 5th since she arrived. She watched the sunset gently cross the mountains to hiding. Before she took a sip from her drink, she allowed the golden colour to dance in her eyes. Then she turned, gave her boss a clean look & said "I am in."

While suggestions on how to make the plan work were still pouring in from the writers, some Twitter users have started making contributions by sharing their stories in the thread, others have also indicated their interest to make other contributions aside writing to support the publication of the book.

A Twitter user @tosindele volunteered to do animated illustrations for the stories

Tubosun has, however, created a Google Doc where all the writers will post their contributions to the book.

"Here's my suggestion. We put the writing here on this Google Doc. I've put the first coherent start by @victorsozaboy there. Whoever wants to go next must seek editing privileges, and we go on and on from there," he tweeted on Thursday morning.

Neusroom will be monitoring this development as new updates on the book unfold.

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