And How To Navigate Twittertown

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.

Drew Chial@DrewChial
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,

– Jess

Published in Random Rambling


Jessica West (West1Jess) is pursuing a state of self-induced psychosis (reading, writing, editing). She lives in Acadiana with three daughters still young enough to think she’s cool and a husband who knows better but likes her anyway.

0 Comments for "Why Writers Have the Best Twitter Threads"

  • Karen

    Great insights, Jess. 🙂
    Having read this blog post of yours – I now feel completely boring, Twittertown-wise. From now on, I’ll do my best to improve my Twitter presence.

    • Jess West

      Thanks, Karen. Oh I feel quite boring sometimes myself, but the writers I follow always put a smile on my face.


      • Karen

        Same here. Hopefully, a tweet of mine will one also put a smile on your face, Jess! 🙂

  • Freda Moya

    I’ve said it on Twitter, now I’ll say it here. You have just summed up so eloquently what I am currently trying to ramble on about on the second part of my blog post about Twitter. Yours is so informative and well written. Thank you. I’d be saying this even if I wasn’t included in a mention on here, for which I am so honoured and a little gobsmacked! 🙂 Thank you so much. Oh and also I need to learn how to do this click link thing! I have no idea how to do it, but you’ve done it and I’ve seen Drew and a few others do it too 🙂
    I’m now off to finish my ramblings and learn how to direct everyone back here so thy can unravel what I’m saying in a coherent way. 🙂

    • Jess West

      Have fun finishing that post! I look forward to seeing it pop up at the #MondayBlogs party!

  • Joseph D. Stirling

    Being new to Twitter, thank you so much for explaining things! I’ve been so confused and basically just tweeting jokes and random brain snot… 🙂

    • Jess West

      Well hey there! I never caught on that you weren’t on Twitter before. Welcome aboard! And hey, if jokes and random brain snot work for you, Tweet away!

      The last time I spoke to you, I believe you were up to your eyeballs in writerly work. How is all that going?

      • Joseph D. Stirling

        Going great, thanks for asking. 🙂 One book published and a second close to a finished draft. There’s a ton of editing in my future. I like to keep busy though. 🙂

        How’s everything going on your end?

      • Jess West

        Excellent! Yeah, you’ve always seemed a busy bee, but in a great way.

        Going well, thanks. I’m writing, beta reading, reaching out to various online communities and just keeping busy enjoying every step of the writing process.

        I’ll be reading Beggars in the Streets of Time soon!

        Take care, and Write on!

        – Jess

  • Amira K.

    Great post, as always! Twitter is super fun, and writers are definitely some of the absolute coolest people to follow – when you find the good ones, that is. And the #FPs you selected are STUNNING.

    Thanks for sharing, love.

    • Jess West

      Thank ya, Darlin’! ♥

      There were so many great #FPs to choose from! I just wanted to turn people in the right direction. I hope they find all you wonderful wordsmiths because a Twitter feed without writers is downright dismal.

  • sandradan1

    Am just about to embark on Twitter and feel so intimidated, so thx for this! SD

    • Jess West

      You’re welcome, sandradan1, and good luck to you!


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