5 Ways Twitter Helps You Become a Better Writer @sarahbrentyn #MondayBlogs

Sarah Brentyn is a master of flash fiction. For real. I adore her, but a little part of me hates on her just a TEENY bit because she is THAT good at flash. If you haven’t read her book or checked out her flash fiction blog, you need to. You’ll learn more than a lot. You’ll see DaVinci crafting helicopters out of words, or Michaelangelo painting a wordish Sistine Chapel.

In summary, she’s good. Fucking good. GO.READ.HER.BOOK.

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In celebration of her book, and that June is flash fiction month, her book is on sale. Check it out.

But today, Brentyn is teaching us all about Twitter and how to use it.

Welcome to Sarah:

Whether you love Twitter, hate it, or feel a bit iffy, I’ve got news for you.

Tweeting improves your writing.  

Clicking the button on someone’s blog with that little blue bird on it doesn’t count. I’m talking about composing a tweet. Writing something. All the cool kids are doing it. I’ve lost count of how many hashtag games there are on Twitter.

What am I going on about? Here’s what: Twitterature. Get it? Twitter Literature. I know. Sounds made up. It’s not. It’s a real thing. Seriously.

If you’re a writer not taking part in any of the prompts on there, you’re missing out.

Why are you missing out? Here’s why: Microbursts. Get it? Micro fiction bursting with story. This one is not a real thing—it’s something I completely made up for my book but totally should be a thing. (For my fellow nerds, yes, microbursts are real but they are a weather phenomenon so don’t go there. We’re talking about writing. Focus, people!) You’d be surprised how much you can fit in a tweet.

Let’s talk about how this fast-paced platform helps you become a better writer.

Way 1 – Learn to Be Concise

Let’s face it, you have to be brief when writing a scene, story, or joke in 140 characters or less. Even if you tend toward the dark side of verbosity, you can tweet. If you’re naturally wordy, you won’t be. You can’t be. It’s 140 characters. With a hashtag. You can’t afford to be long-winded. Succinct is the secret. The limit forces you to edit. Every. Word. Counts. Cut the crap, you know? Get rid of it. If it doesn’t fit in that tiny tweet, make it fit. Writers from all genres do this every day on Twitter.

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Way 2 – Meet Other Writers (and Readers)

Of course, if writers are taking part in these daily hashtag games, you will be seeing them. And they will be seeing you. You can build an entire community of like-minded tweeps by simply participating in these micro prompts. This provides some good, quick reads but also an audience, support, and motivation. And here’s something else: Insta-feedback! You’re getting likes and retweets and replies or…you’re not. You’re learning what resonates with people and what doesn’t. Sometimes within minutes. And, while you’re enjoying some Twitterature while waiting in line at the store, your writing continues to attract readers throughout the day.

Way 3 – Write Impact Sentences

One-liners are like…BAM! They hit you upside the head. Whether they make you laugh out loud, cringe, or cry, they have an impact. These are essential for flash but important for longer works, too. And don’t even say a novel doesn’t need great one-liners. It does. It’s just that you can’t (and really shouldn’t) write a whole novel of sentences that pack a punch. That would be ugly. But you want them sprinkled throughout. Twitterature helps you write “wow” sentences. Because, when you’re only writing 20-30 words, you focus on perfecting those sentences and can wow ‘em (almost) every time.

Way 4 – Try New Genres

Like writing romance? Cool. Get your readers all hot and bothered with some smooches. Humor or horror seem way out of your comfort zone? Good. Don’t spend four months trying to be funny or having your MC cut people up and store them in the fridge. (Dude. You’re gross.) But you can spend one day doing this, can’t you? Stretch your writer-wings. If a specific genre doesn’t seem like your thing, practice it on Twitter. The fleeting nature of a tweet encourages creativity and experimentation. You’re not writing War and Peace. You’re writing Twitterature.

Way 5 – Be Your Own Muse

Those pithy pieces you write on Twitter can become so much more. Flash fiction, a short story, even the kernel of a novel. A timeline can be like a drafts folder. Write, tweet, repeat. Soon, you’ll have a whole library of your own work to search through. It’s brilliant. You can find some amazing lines in those tweets. Those can be stand-alone beauties but can also be the seed that grows into a tree. Or they can be your first line. Or the ending of a chapter, the beginning of another, part of a blurb, your tagline… There is so much potential packed into a tweet.

When writing a lengthier piece, you want to keep these things in mind. Better yet, you want to be in the habit of writing Twitterature so, when the time comes to write your WIP, this is all second nature. You will dazzle the world with your words.

Twitter is your playground.

Go forth and create, fellow writers. Play. Practice your writing skills. Have fun.

***

Dont forget her book is on sale – go check it out here: 

AmazonCOM

AmazonUK

Author Bio:

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She is the author of Hinting at Shadows, a collection of short fiction.

You can find Sarah all over the tinterweb like here:

Amazon: Author Page

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blogs:

Lemon Shark

Lemon Shark Reef

Socal Media:

Twitter, Google+, Website

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42 comments

  1. Hi Sarah! Great to see you over on Sacha’s blog. When I published Grá mo Chroí with Jane Dougherty we used to have twitter poetry duels all the time, and even ran a twitter poetry competition with the launch. It was so much fun! Especially when other writers joined in and poems were flying back and forth all over twitter! Haven’t done that in ages though. Jane really is a master! And funnily enough, those little poems are among my favourite. You’re absolutely right, twitter does make you focus on every word. Thanks for the reminder. 😊💕

          1. No you wouldn’t… you’ll never be satisfied! Otherwise you’d already be happy with the extraordinary talent you already have. 😙

        1. Hi, Ali! *waves* It’s nice to be here.

          That is so cool! I love the idea of your poetry duel on Twitter. It sounds awesome. And, yes, once others join in… Fun is had by all and you connect with other writers. You know, some of my tweets remain my favorite micro stories. I totally get that. Hope you can join some again. There are poetry ones, prose ones, mixed…

          You read Hinting? 😊 Aw…thank you. 💕 I’m so happy you liked it.

  2. yep, it’s dreadful to have that cold place in your heart because someone else so so good; I get that and Sarah is soooo good. Damn it… why’s she so nice too? Not fair, not fair at all..

    1. I know the feeling, Geoff. There’s this guy in London… Walks his dog a lot. Blogs a bit. Quite a nice guy, too. Funny. Talented. Likes cake. Know that guy? He’s a fab writer of both flash AND novels. If I didn’t love him, I’d have to hate him.

  3. It’ funny because I can write haiku and love doing so,, but trying to compose a witty Tweet (or even a non-witty one)is a whole new experience that I have not really mastered at all! Will have to check out what Sarah is doing and learn some skills! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Judy. You should try some. See, now haiku…that’s not my strength. I’ve written a bunch on Twitter but they’re just meh. That’s the beauty of those fleeting tweets. I can find them if I want or leave them buried in the Twitterverse. 😉 Practicing on there is fun.

      Haha! 😂 “a power punch to the heart strings.” That’s awesome, Sacha.

  4. When I first joined twitter I wondered how in the world I would be able to contain my thoughts to only 140 characters. Participating in Twitterature games really has helped me learn how to get to a point quicker which has helped in developing elevator pitches and taglines. See – I’m not wasting time on Twitter. It’s for work!

    1. Same here. When I first joined, I was like 140 words? Oh! 140 characters! No way. And yet… You read some of those Twitter stories and wow. How did they fit THAT in? Unbelievable talent.

      Seriously, they really do help. With lots of things. Taglines definitely. Hadn’t thought of pitches but, um, yah, of course. Not wasting time. Work. Agreed. And reading. And film. It’s all research. 😉

  5. Great post, Sarah, and I love your sense of humor. I confess that I’m twitter-phobic. I look at twitter (and most social media) and I get heart palpitations. It’s like staring down the throat of another time-carnivore. Ha ha. But you make it seem so fun! I especially like the poetry wars and trying new genres.How easy – peasy is that and it sounds like a blast. I’d have to learn about hashtags though (those funny symbols that I have no idea how they work or what they do). I’m a lost cause. By the time I learn twitter, only old people will be using it. We’ll be comparing age spots, recommending orthopedic shoes to each other, and complaining about the latest social media. 😀

    1. Humor? I know not of what you speak. So… A Twitter-phobic writer. *rubs hands together* I will get you tweeting, my friend. (Actually, I do understand the fear-of-time-suck, deer-in-headlights-inducing social media thing. You’ll notice I’m on, like, two of them.) Still, I do believe tweets force you to edit and there are A LOT of writers on Twitter. Hashtags…they are good for being seen, connecting with other writers, and searching your own timeline. They are waffle-shaped, online goodness. As far as orthopedic shoes, I think they’re much more stylish than they used to be. 🙂

  6. Sarah, you make me twitterpated. 🙂 These are excellent points and a lot of good information.

    Someday, when I’m actually allowed time on social media and the thought of writing prompts isn’t met with the defiant “stop trying to take away time from my story” internal response, I’ll give it a try. It does sound like fun. Unfortunately, with the rate I’m moving, Twitter will probably disappear by the time I get to that point. >_<

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