Every new study says the same thing: “Twitter has the worst follower–to–customer conversion ratio of all social media platforms.” If this is true, why do agents and publishers use Twitter follow numbers as the benchmark of author platform size? It’s because smart authors are not on Twitter to sell books. They are there to hone their craft and clean their manuscripts. Once I figured this out, I quit participating in follow-loops, designing ads, and chasing elusive “meaningful interactions”. Save those pursuits for Instagram or Facebook.
How does Twitter teach writing and how does it clean a manuscript? It is as sneaky as a kindergarten teacher. You clean your wording with WIP Wordsearch games. Every day there are hashtag games where you search your latest manuscript for a keyword in the prompt and post the snippet. This can help you in the obvious and secret, special way. The obvious is to count like and quote retweets on your tweet. However, as long as you follow the game rules you will get plenty of likes without an explanation of what they liked. It could be the person who figured out the word of the game from your snippet and the like is in gratitude.
The sneaky kindergarten teacher’s way is to use the prompt to enhance the wording of your manuscript. Let’s say the prompt is “emanate”. Emanate is not a common word and frankly, I had to look at its meaning when it was the prompt for #SeduceMeSundayWrite. I did have a luminescent fairy who would “emit”, “glow”, “radiate”, and “pour” light in every paragraph. A couple of those were changed to emanate and my manuscript grew in complexity.
I prefer the more common word themes because they expose a terrible scene before I send it to my editor. Most authors know to filter for words like: “like, “just”, and “only”, but what about the advanced filter words? For example, when #fridaykiss had the prompt “turn”, I found my characters turning to every sound, feeling, and sudden movement. They must have been dizzy after the 789 turns in 98,000 words. Most of them could be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence – ouch! More of my favorite filter word prompts are “watch”, “sense”, “begin”, “start”, “smile”, “hope”, and “pause”.
Where do we find these magical games? The easiest way is to follow a prompt collector like my favorite @thewriteprompt. However, these accounts will give you the prompt word to find not the rules of the game. What do I mean by rules? You can get reprimanded (with your tweets blocked) if you include a graphic, gif, ad, or buy links in a game if they are outside of the rules. Other games require your snippet to be encased in a graphic like Wednesday’s #bookqw (an excellent way to force yourself to make teasers for ads on other platforms).
Here are some of my favorite games with their rules. What are yours?
|Hashtag (Day of Game)||Rules|
|#SMUTuesday (Tuesday)||NO graphics, ads, or buy links|
|#1linewed (Wednesday)||Graphics are okay but no ads or buy links|
|#HumpDayWrite (Wednesday)||Graphics are okay but no ads or buy links|
|#bookqw (Wednesday)||Graphics are required but buy links can be added|
|#thurds (Thursday)||Graphics, ads, and buy links can be added|
|#FridayKiss||NO graphics, ads, or buy links|
|#SeduceMeSundayWrite||Graphics are okay but no ads or buy links|