Let’s all sing like the birdies sing. . .

- by Elaine Isaak

Yes, it’s true:  I tweet.  I don’t have my own blog (yet), I don’t always maintain my Facebook and Myspace pages as well as I’d like,  though I’m getting better (and I should note for you authors or would-be authors who are resisting on-line promotion, that one of the things that impressed my new editor is my on-line presence, feeble though it is).  But I tweet.  It’s fun, sometimes challenging, sometimes pithy, sometimes merely absurd.

It’s a lot more compressed than other ways to find blogs or web resources of interest to me as a writer.  There are a number of tweeters who make this their mission, including links to point you in the right direction.

And that’s only one of the specific benefits that excite me as a writer.First of all, it’s international.  When I go on around 6 am, EST, I find that many of my British tweeps are on-line.  I can keep up with some of the publishers I’d like to work with overseas, and also connect with fans and potential fans across the ocean for free.  It’s interesting to keep up with international news at the speed of tweets, as well.

I enjoy participating in some of the hash tag (#) conversations.  Some are recurring or on-going like #scifichat, some are short-lived bits of fun.  One of the ones I try to do on a regular basis is #wip  This consists of writers tweeting a sentence from their current Work In Progress.  It can be challenging to find an interesting snip–it makes you consider each dependent clause, and confront how many adverbs and adjectives you *really* use even when you think you don’t have that problem.  And in exchange you can see isolated, finely honed gems from other writers.  It’s like putting that single sentence on a pedestal for contemplation.  Some of them are truly masterful.  As a novelist, I spend a lot of time thinking big-picture, and I don’t always consider the artistry of every word.  #wip makes me see it at that level.

And, if you’re really up for the challenge, there is twitter fiction, the art of telling a complete story in 140 characters or less.  @nanoism and @thaumatrope are a couple of the paying outlets for these miniscule stories.  If displaying a single sentence makes you think about every word you’ve chosen, then writing a twitter story makes you consider how to swiftly convey plot/character/theme/mood.  How tight can you make it?  What single word would capture the meaning you’re looking for?  How do you structure the piece to go off with a bang?  It takes the big-picture vision of a novel or short story, and squeezes it down to the essence:  the telling moment or image, the sense of movement that shoots straight to the heart of what you want to say.

Do you tweet?  you can find me @elaineisaak.

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