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.
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.
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:
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