My brothers and sisters of the Twitterverse, we’ve made some strides, but I’m afraid the disease is spreading faster than we can contain it. Hashtag Blindness is a violent and fast-moving disease that may be infecting not only your followers, but your followers’ followers as well!
Worse, the symptoms are sometimes subtle and hard to detect. In my ongoing research to cure this hideous malady, I’ve uncovered some additional signs that one or more of your followers may be infected.
The Symptoms Grow Worse
To highlight a character’s habit, have them perform the action at least once every paragraph. Drive it home! #HorribleWriteTip
Chuckles were had by all. And then I see this slither into my timeline:
What are the names of your books so I cannot buy THEM!
For added mystique, it’s better to be ambiguous about which viewpoint you’re writing from. #HorribleWriteTip
And the response:
Hmmm….I think it’s better to be clear about it, no?
Never. It’s almost always better to confuse the reader as much and as often as possible. 😛
Maybe I should be more obvious [keep in mind while some poets follow me, most of my followers are fiction writers]:
For maximum effect, make sure all of your sentences contain the same number of syllables. #HorribleWriteTip
This one worked like a long-fuse bomb. About a day after I tweeted it, I get this response.
Worked for Shakespeare.
Ignoring the fact that sentences in Hamlet range from 1 to more than 13 syllables, I should point out that chief among the things that worked for Shakespeare was being Shakespeare.
But, it gets worse. Around the same time I was receiving angry responses to the horrible writing tips, I made the mistake of tweeting advice about “that vs. which” (which, at the time, I didn’t know had different usage rules in British English vs. American English). I received the following tweet:
I vote for for blocking obnoxious idiots from dispensing uninformed rules unsolicited. Just saying @NatRusso is kind of a douche
This was offensive in the extreme. I mean…uninformed?!?
That was followed by:
Who is this chucklehead with the terrible advice?
This made me start rethinking things. I mean, it was never my intent to upset Charles Barkley.
But I had a mission. I couldn’t stop! There are confused people out there!
Why do you keep sending me these messages?
I responded the way any rational person in my situation would:
BECAUSE YOU NEED TO LEARNIFY MY L33T KNOWLUDGE!!!
Ok. Not really. I would never respond to someone like that. But, it makes me wonder…does this person think that every message they see in their timeline is intended for them personally? That must make for one scary experience.
There Are Folks Who Get It
The proper salutation for a query letter is “Yo…check it out.” #HorribleWriteTip
- In Teesside that would be “Ow, Bastard! What’s this?”
- [While I don’t get the specifics of the joke, I definitely get the “upshot”, and it cracked me up.]
- Written queries are passé. Make an impact with an interpretive dance video that showcases your book’s plot.
- When querying, don’t waste money on good paper. After all, you might get rejected. #HorribleWriteTip
- Just send submissions on scrap. Use the back of something. Might get rejected, right?
- Had you not put #HorribleWriteTip I’d have taken that as sound advice. Why are you looking at me like that? What?!
Every character should have a catch phrase. Eg: My MC says “Booyah pickles!” at the end of every chapter. #HorribleWriteTip
- I was beginning to wonder about you until I saw the hashtag! 🙂
- That’s no reason to stop wondering about me, TRUST me!
Can’t get enough Hashtag Blindness? Continue on to Hashtag Blindness 3: Electric Jamboree!
If you enjoyed this article, please spread the word by sharing it using one of the social media buttons. And don’t forget to follow the blog for the latest updates as soon as they’re published.
Sign up for the free Erindor Press newsletter. Stay Informed. Be a better writer. Your contact information will NEVER be shared for ANY reason.
Join Nat on Facebook for additional content that he doesn’t post on the blog or on Twitter.