27 Tips About Writing From Twitter

twitter tips

Tips I got from Twitter about writing

I’m a writing tip junkie. Any tweet or blog post or random comment that begins, “Here’s the best tip I’ve ever gotten about writing…” makes me click. What’s thirty seconds when I could pick up a gold nugget that changes my writerly life?

Mostly, 1) I already know them, 2) they’re pedestrian, or 3) they’re wrong, but occasionally I get one–or twenty-seven in this case–that I think are worth passing on. See if you agree:

  1. Unless required for voice-related purposes, avoid using “needless to say” or “utilize” or “awesome tits” in your writing. (Women: Fill in the blank: “Awesome _____.”)
  2. Be tech savvy and have a good liberal arts background [to succeed as a writer].
  3. The whole process of writing a novel is having this great, beautiful idea and then spoiling it.
  4. “The writer is only free when he can tell the reader to go jump in the lake…”
  5. Stop calling yourself an ‘aspiring author’.
  6. Aspiring is dead.
  7. Back talent with arrogance.
  8. Writing what you know IS writing who you don’t know.
  9. Edit.
  10. Her plot is as slow as a tortoise on Valium. Don’t make your plot as slow as a tortoise on Valium (you’d have to know that cable TV commercial to get this one).
  11. Don’t let ANY AGENT set you up for a high-five and then trip you.
  12. I’ve known agents who wouldn’t know a good book if it took them to the World Series.
  13. If I was trying to get there [the climax], I wouldn’t start from here.
  14. Ironing out the plot problems would take an industrial laundry a month.
  15. In romance novels, plot is important. Characters are more important.
  16. You either have to write or you shouldn’t be writing. That’s all. (I forget who said that–someone famous)
  17. …don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.
  18. As long as you produce pages, your writing method is the best.
  19. Write your heart out.
  20. Don’t try to anticipate an ideal reader–or any reader. He/ she might exist–but is reading someone else. (I think this is Joyce Carol Oates)
  21. The first sentence can be written only after the last sentence has been written.
  22. Use active voice whenever possible.
  23. Cut the boring parts. ~Elmore Leonard
  24. Speed through your climax like an Indie car. (if you write thrillers)
  25. Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. ~Mark Twain
  26. Following what works will only get you so far.
  27. Don’t use coffee mug slogans for your story themes.

What are your favorite tips?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a weekly columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog, IMS tech expert, and a monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculumK-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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29 thoughts on “27 Tips About Writing From Twitter

  1. “Stop calling yourself an aspiring writer”… I have to admit that I’ve certainly done that a bit. This advice is right: You’re a writer… no need for the qualifiers!

  2. Any writer can definitely relate to the tips. It’s like you hit me with a rock or even an arrow. HAHA.

  3. Reblogged this on A Dream Come True and commented:
    Some very funny and wise tips about writing. I especially love the “aspiring writer” advice.

  4. Crap. I love “needless to say” LOL great list 🙂

  5. Most of my halt came with number 21. I’m interested in the thought-context or expansion on this bit of advice. Taken literally, writing the last sentence, or having the finality in well established in mind, gives you a point to write to. For me, that makes the writing process all the more difficult. Perhaps a vague endpoint may offer comfort or direction but I like the looseness of knowing the port I’m leaving from while not being fully sure of the waters I’ll be navigating or the harbor at which I’ll arrive.

    • It contradicts the way many people write–let their characters be themselves and see what happens when faced with ever-increasing obstacles. Dunno. I plot the entire story, then make changes as ordered by my characters. Pushy folk, they are.

  6. #21 is completely me!!! It seems the intro to everything I write is the last to be written. #23….I SAY THAT ALL THE TIME!
    Loved your post! Way to go! Love your style.

  7. great list, very good advice, and inspiring. It must have taken quite a while to collect that list. The best advice is just to write. Just do it, just write. Don’t make excuses. Sit down at the typewriter, and bleed.

    • I see a tip and copy-paste to a draft blog. When it got up to 27, I figured it was time to publish and start a new list!

      Easy, hunh?

      BTW, you have an interesting blog.

  8. Great comments. When you stop laughing, lots of useful info.
    My fave: Be tech savvy and have a good liberal arts background.
    I have half of this requirement. Maybe even savvy, so 2/3.
    It’s the tech part I’m lacking – oy!

  9. Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me.

  10. Yes, you have got a point there! You either should write or you shouldn’t be writing! And it is all about pages. Something I need to badly follow!

  11. #14…ironing out the plot problems – I had a great visual aha! First sentence after the last sentence..these two may define why I don’t write fiction ;>}

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