In a world…where people tweet with hashtags, and other people fail to read them, there can be only one outcome.
From the makers of Hashtag Blindness Part 1 and Hashtag Blindness Part 2, comes the explosive conclusion1, Hashtag Blindness 3: Electric Jamboree: On Twitter, No One Can Hear You Scream: Redemption: Age of Irony.2
1 Not an actual conclusion. This crazy train never stops.
2 Subtitle tested well with the male, 20.5 – 21 year old, stoned, neckbeard demographic.
Read on, for the extended trailer.
On Twitter, No One Can Hear You Scream
It was an innocent joke, or so I thought. “Mention editors,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. And so I did.
Of COURSE you know better than your editor! It’s your story! #HorribleWriteTip
The hashtag was there, plain as day. I know, because I double checked. Triple checked. In a fit of paranoia, I placed the cursor at the end, backspaced until the hashtag was deleted, and RETYPED it. I even had Toby proofread it!
Oh yes. It was there. In all its hashtaggy goodness, Toby-approved.
So I clicked “Tweet”.
This is offensive! I’ve been a professional proofreader for 20 years. You’re misleading people. The writers I work with would never have a..
It goes on for 5 more tweets.
5 more LOOOOOOOONG tweets. Painstakingly edited to use every last one of the 140 characters allowed.
Fünf weitere tweets.
A basketball team of tweets, each suffering from Hashtag Blindness.
So I did what any rational person would do. I ran them by my beagle.
I’m nothing, if not tenacious. So I try again.
To create suspense, number your chapters randomly. #HorribleWriteTip
The interwebz was angry that day, my friends.
How you make bestseller?!?
First, I render down some bacon…
Ok, in fairness, I don’t know whether this guy was asking for instructions or insulting me in an English-Is-My-Second-Language sort of way. I assumed the latter, given it was a direct reply to the tweet.
If people listen to you, they’ve got rocks in their head.
Mom, I asked you politely last Thanksgiving to stop trolling my Twitter feed.
Ok, enough about suspense. Maybe they’ll enjoy a tweet about comedy and laughter?
Indicate laughter through snorting and adverbs.
“Hahaha!” Bob snorted mostly surreptitiously. #HorribleWriteTip
No, my friends. They did NOT like a tweet about comedy and laughter.
More lousy advice from a writer who doesn’t know he sucks. 🙁
Wait a minute… Wait a minute…
For the love of all that is holy! Why didn’t someone tell me!?!
Age of Irony
There is no shortage of irony out there, as you can see from the opening graphic of this article (taken from an actual reply).
I added a few new #HorribleWriteTip tweets over the last few months. This was one of the first “new” ones:
Writing urban fantasy? Don’t forget to run your manuscript through Gizoogle before you submit it. #HorribleWriteTip
It didn’t take long to enrage the masses.
Ok, that should read “It didn’t take long to enrage this one guy on Twitter.”
Just another racist cracka spreading stereotypes.
And he was serious about spreading that word, because he started the reply with a period doohickey in front of my handle so everyone could see it.
But props. It’s the first time anyone called me a “racist cracka” on Twitter.
The funny thing is that I’m making some headway. The more I tweet these #HorribleWriteTip tweets, the more people jump on the bandwagon. If you do a Twitter search for that hashtag, you’ll actually see someone other than me using it now. 🙂
Here are some of the folks who play along. As always, I remove Twitter handles to protect people’s privacy. I’ll block-quote the original “Horrible” tweets and list the responses after.
When it comes to word count, agents are looking for maximum verbosity. Gives them more to work with. #HorribleWriteTip
- “I think you should buy my novel because I write good.”–best way to start a query ever.
- Also, everything should symbolize something else. #HorribleWriteTip
- Paragraphs are overrated. Let’s play Wall of Text! #HorribleWriteTip
- Write every chapter in a different genre, just to show how flexible and diverse you are. #HorribleWriteTip
Don’t forget to stamp the word “Confidential” on every page of your manuscript. An ounce of prevention… #HorribleWriteTip
- I prefer either the words WATERMARK or the symbol of a gun w/the words “I’ll shoot you if you tell anyone” in watermark form.
Never trust a word with a diphthong. #HorribleWriteTip
- If that were true, no one could live in Philadelphia.
Ideally, your prologue will contain your entire world’s history starting shortly after your planet cools. #HorribleWriteTip
- But be sure to include cosmic inflation & formation of the first stars as a flashback later on. #HorribleWriteTip
- That’s where I’ve been going wrong! I’ll cut out the first week after my planet cools. That should work 🙂
Thing. Really? Is that the best noun you can come up with. Don’t be lazy! Being lazy is a bad…thing. #writetip
- The #badwritetip here being, “In love scenes, just call it his thing. And her thing. Readers will get the idea.”
Scene breaks should be marked with an exclamation point and descriptive text that reads “See what I did there?” #HorribleWriteTip
- No, the only acceptable scene break is using Curlz and Comic Sans in alternating letters: “~~ ScEnE BrEaK ~~” #horriblewritetip
Comic Sans. The most underrated font in the industry. Use it liberally. #HorribleWriteTip
- “Experimental fiction” is best told using Dingbat heiroglyphics for that international appeal.
To create suspense, number your chapters randomly. #HorribleWriteTip
- Hey, can go even further. After writing, randomize the chapters themselves before submission. #HorribleWriteTip
I find it useful to end the climactic scenes in my manuscript with “BAM! THAT JUST HAPPENED!” #HorribleWriteTip
- I end all dramtic scenes with “SO, HOW YOU DOIN?”
The proper salutation for a query letter is “Yo, check it out…” #HorribleWriteTip
- And it’s so good I’m not going to tell you what it’s about, only why I wrote it #horriblewritetip
First drafts are always terrible. So I recommend starting with your second draft to avoid the problem entirely. #HorribleWriteTip
- I just give empty pages to my betas and stitch together their comments to form the final draft. #HorribleWriteTip
The more dialogue attributions you use, the stronger your dialogue. #HorribleWriteTip
- Only if you NEVER, EVER use “said.” Characters must guffaw, laugh, or hiss every statement. Questions must be queried or pondered.
Oh, and someone tweeted THIS at me, completely unprovoked. The tweet had a single word, and a photo:
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About Nat Russo
Nat Russo is the Amazon #1 Bestselling Fantasy author of Necromancer Awakening and Necromancer Falling. Nat was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He's spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun. Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do. He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenager, mischievous beagle, and goofy boxador.
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You know I’ve been complaining lately that people do not employ critical reading skills. This is just further proof. Sigh.
True. So true that I’ve already begun compiling responses for “Hashtag Blindness 4”.
Pingback: Hashtag Blindness Part 2
Yeah, that’s not a racist comment, either.
Maybe the hashtag should go at the start, to prepare them for the sarcasm to follow? Some people just take things too seriously.
Placing the hashtag at the end is a great way of “tagging” all the lazy people. 🙂
The scariest thing about all of this is not the intensely baffling word-blindness, but rather the fact that I have ACTUALLY SEEN an author use one of these horrible write tips in their novel. I can’t recall the name now, it’s been many years, but I’ve actually seen a novel where the chapter numbers were out of sync – on purpose! It was extremely confusing.
Also, Nat: the hilarity in these articles freaking makes my whole week. Love this! Keep ’em coming!
Glad you’re enjoying them, Cassie! 🙂
And have no fear…I’m already compiling responses for “Hashtag Blindness 4”, to be published at some point in the future.