How Twitter Made Me a Better Writer, an #AuthorToolBox Special Edition

I know. It sounds weird. But hear me out.

Twitter is a ginormous place with many sub-Twitters fit for just about every walk of life. Imagine a universe filled with many galaxies populated with their own solar systems, planetary delights, and many, many moons. If you look closely at that weird little collection of planets just to the left of that burning mass of gasses, that purple one with dragons and teenage heroines saving their broken societies is the Twitter I know and love.

 space stars galaxy universe space gif GIFWriter Twitter.

A magical place filled with generous writers who willingly share their knowledge of the writing craft. There are heartbreaking stories of rejection letters, celebratory successes of finding representation, and even well-timed threads on proper manuscript formatting. Don’t quote me, but I’m pretty sure there have been some pretty gruesome GIF wars over the Oxford comma, too. The best part is, to be a part of this world, you just have to follow one of the hashtags. No red or blue pill needed.

The first one I found was #amwriting. Then #amediting. Certainly #amcrying came shortly after. Because editing.

But I digress.

Then, THEN, I discovered #PitchWars, a contest that pairs writers who have completed and polished a manuscript to the best of their ability with a writer or editor. Together they fine-tune all the words and make them shiny for agents to peruse and make requests.

And that’s not the best part!

The cherry on the contest sundae is all the learnin’ and socializin’ done on the hashtag before the picks are made. I met my amazing critique partner,Β Keli Vice, through PitchWars. My writing has never been better. She sees things my eyes glaze right over! (In fact, I should’ve probably sent her this post before I published it.) Guys, these writers bend over backward to share all the ways to becoming better at the craft. And all we have to do is listen. Well, and apply. But they make it easy!

For example, Jami Nord has put together straightforward and reasonable advice that covers everything from conceptualizing plot and points of view to polishing word choice. I have never seen anyone work harder at making writing skills more accessible to anybody who would listen. The amount of blogging and individual feedback given during #PitchMadness, another writing contest, would’ve put mere mortals out of commission for good. Jami made it look effortless.

Michelle Hazen offers writerly motivation as well as advice on how to write steamy sex scenes. And then some! Side note: I employed Michelle’s editing services on my last project, and she showed me how to fix pacing, dialogue tags, overused tropes, and more. You know, minor stuff. Ahem. The best part is she made me feel like I didn’t suck as a writer and maybe, if I worked a little harder, could actually make something of my book.

Another priceless site I learned about from Writer Twitter is #MSWL. This is where agents and editors post their submission wish lists. You can also find exact directions on how to submit all your pretty words to them in the manner they prefer. (Trust me, follow directions here.) Even better, #MSWL has launched Manuscript Academy, classes and workshops designed to get you up close and personal with industry professionals in a risk-free manner. Completely worth the investment.

There are so many good and talented writers to learn from, agented, published, or not. Editors, too. Other hashtags to follow are #ontheporch and #RevPit. You’ll meet plenty of people that will be happy to critique your query or even tell you what a query is, if need be. We all start somewhere!

If you have any other recommendations or referrals, please add them in the comment section. Like the writing community always says, there’s always room for more books! To read more from other writers participating in the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, click here.

 

Author:

Teacher of humanities, student of mythology, writer of words, and mother of two polar opposite teens.

16 thoughts on “How Twitter Made Me a Better Writer, an #AuthorToolBox Special Edition

  1. You’re so right Deborah! When I started writing and started my blog last year I had no idea how big the writing community was online, and particularly on Twitter. I have found so many fellow writers through Twitter chats like #StoryCrafter and #StorySocial. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and willing to offer helpful advice and tips whenever I’m struggling with an aspect of my WIP. I’m so glad I discovered writer Twitter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I started my blog in 2012 but only opened a Twitter account last year and synced the page. Since then, I have found that yes, writers generally do like getting in touch with one another. They were very welcoming and I was so… Well, touched. However, it turns out that I’m the same personality online as offline, i.e. I’m on-and-off active on social media just as I am with my cousins back home. This is something I keep telling myself to work on but really… Sighs…

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  3. Hey, you made that whole ginormous, super scary, intimidating universe sound great — am suiting up and heading in! Know several writers who have landed incredible relationships and deals through twitter pitching, too. It’s a real thing. Worth learning more!

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  4. Twitter has great resources. You have listed some amazing ones in your post. There are also Twitter chats where writers get together at a specific time and share their experiences and knowledge. Some I know include #rwchat for romance, #StoryCrafter, and #WritersLifeChat, but there are constantly more forming. To find them look when a tweet from a writer you follow starts with A1, A2, etc. and has a single hashtag.

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  5. So true! I couldn’t figure out WHY ANYONE WOULD EVER WANT TO BE ON TWITTER … until I found this wonderful universe of aspiring authors and published authors and bloggers and agents and editors. And forever grateful for #Pitchwars connections and my a-maz-ing CP Deborah!

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  6. Thanks for this! I have been #amwriting and #writerslifing on twitter for about a year, and I am still learning about writerly corners of twitter that I’ve completely missed so far. The twitterverse is HUGE, and you’ve posted a star map to some parts thus far unknown.

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  7. I completely agree! I’m so grateful for Pitch Wars, it introduced me to an entire community of writers, and encouraged me to become more active on Twitter, where I met even more people. Great post!

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  8. This made me laugh: “The first one I found was #amwriting. Then #amediting. Certainly #amcrying came shortly after. Because editing.” I also found my fav critique partner through last year’s Pitch Wars, and yea, we’re chatting on the phone tomorrow night for the first time! I can’t recommend getting involved with the Twitter mentoring contests highly enough as well. In one month of reading tweets that heralded me off to blog posts, I gained so much insight into all aspects of the writing and querying processes, not to mention contacts, self esteem, critique partners, a big fat writers’ community! Thank you for this awesome contribution to the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop Deborah! I’ll be sharing your post further. πŸ™‚

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  9. I love Writer Twitter! I tell people all the time that one of the best writing tools is a Twitter account! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Also, just gonna throw this out there, #authorconfession is always looking for awesome authors to come join our game πŸ˜‰

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