Twitter threads can be confusing, but also fabulously entertaining. I’ll talk more about navigating Twittertown later, but first, I want to tell you why you should follow writers on Twitter, whether you are one or not.
* Because the fabric of the micro stories they tell is often woven with fiction and non-fiction, you’re often left to wonder just how much of their material is drawn from real life experience.
@kseniaanske This is why I write with a colostomy bag. It may not be glamorous, but it is practical.
Okay, that one wins Best Out of Context Tweet for today. Gems like this pop up almost daily when you follow a bunch of writers. We are a special breed of human.
* With a 140 character constraint, most broken grammar rules are easily forgiven, especially with the use of hashtags.
#YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen the missing apostrophe drove you insane.
#YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen the shift in verb tense in the above makes your eye twitch. (#YKYAWW courtesy @KMWeiland and @DrewChial)
#AndShit, #InBed added to the end of inspirational quotes. Does anyone actually know the right way to cite a quote that’s been ducked with?
“You can judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him in bed, and shit.”
(For advice, seek counsel with @MarkTConard and @DrewChial. Note, don’t forget the T, else you’ll be asking for #AndShit advice from a proper gentleman who likely avoids such buffoonery.)
And one I’ve recently run across thanks to @jabe842, #AddInMyPantsToAFilm and watch as hilarity ensues.
* Writers feel free, and are even encouraged, to access various inner voices that lend depth to the characters they portray in each 140 character moment, blending genres and breaking rules at will.
#FP writers (Friday Phrases, the brainchild of @AmicGood), I’m looking at you especially.
Here are just a few examples written by Tweeps I highly recommend you follow.
Callie Armstrong @calliearmstrongJan 31
What do you do when the man in front of you is dying & won’t help himself? You light his cigarette & you take him home. #FP
The Nice One @KristenAFC Jan 31
They exist without Lucie because I hold onto their grief while they go to work and play games and smile. I am the keeper of the sorrow.#FP
Joanne Blaikie @fredamoya Jan 31
He knew she’d died, he’d read the obituary. But it was a shock when he opened a parcel from the hospital to find her donated heart there.#FP
Living Dead Man @Reckoner67Jan 31
She made some compelling arguments about the power of love, but he made convincing counterpoints with an axe. They were officially over.#FP
Amy Good @amicgood Jan 31
She stared out at the cornfield as the first rays of sun peeked over the horizon, only to find white webs blanketing the countryside.#FP
I’ve included a few writers to get you started, because a Twitter list threaded with talented typesters brings the entertainment value of Twitter to a whole new level. Don’t just take my word for it, search any of the above hashtags, and #AmWriting, and follow those who float your boat. And if you find some you REALLY like, use the hashtags #WW on Wednesdays and #FF on Fridays when you mention their names to recommend them to your followers.
In case all the # and @ symbols add to your confusion when using Twitter, I’ll include a bit of a tutorial, because I’m sweet like that, and I did say I would.
How To Navigate Twittertown
Twittertown is full of fun people and places to visit.
Hashtags (#) are like movie theaters, ice skating rinks, and shopping malls. Basically they’re places where you’ll find tweets on any topic that interests you.
No matter your taste, there are likely at least five other people who are just as curious about #LoveStamp, #ExpediaChat, or pretty much anything else you may be into. And if you want to see what folks are talking about with regard to the premiere episode of Season 3,498 of The Walking Dead, check out #TWDlivetweet to read tweets from people who are doing exactly what the hashtag implies, live tweeting The Walking Dead.
To find tweets with a specific hashtag, type the hashtag into the search bar and off you go! The Twitter bus will deliver you directly to the land of those like you (in at least one regard).
The at symbol (@) is where you find your favorite tweople within their own comfy little homes. It’s their address in Twittertown. When you click on a person’s name or pic, the Twitter bus will drop you off at their front door, where you’ll find tweets tweeted and retweeted by them. And if you see something you like, click favorite. If you really like it, feel free to retweet so people can see it when they visit you.
If the Home thread seems like a big ole chaotic mess, that’s because it is. It’s like going to a bar in a big city where you know no one. You may meet a few friendly folks there, or you may end up wandering the city, drunk and alone and missing a shoe. Try the #Discover tab to find a hashtag that sounds interesting to you, or even make one up. It’s a much easier, relatively painless, way to meet people with similar interests. Like going to the library to find other folks who like to read.
When you start following people, if you really want to interact with these people on a fairly regular basis, create a list and add them to it. When you access your list, you’ll see a chronological list of Tweets from only those people on that list. I realize I’ve used the word “list” a lot, but I really can not emphasize enough the convenience of a list.
If you care about manners and such, check out your Interactions (and/or Mentions) page frequently so that you can, well, interact. This is where I spend most of my days, because almost all of my friends live in Twittertown.
I hope I’ve shed a bit of light on Twittertown for you. Feel free to drop by @West1Jess anytime, I’ve got plenty of coffee to go around and an infinite number of open seats.
Eagerly awaiting your arrival,