Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Uses for Twitter: Unintentional Writing Prompts

Twitter is a good tool for collecting as well as distributing information. (If you're not accustomed to Twitter, click here for my cheat sheet.) Twitter is also great for having chats and reading funny one-liners. However, I've only recently--and I'm probably slow to the game in this respect--started realizing that it's a gold mine of writing prompts.

To prove my point, I'm going to log in to Twitter at this very moment and grab some randome Tweets:

From @thestephmerritt: Oh I hate confrontation. My neighbour has been playing music full volume ALL NIGHT &; it's still going. Just went round. Turns out he's deaf.

This tweet, for instance, could prompt a story (or poem) about someone who is oblivious about everything he or she does. Or it could be about a person who hates confrontation and is always letting things go, but when trying to confront people is either ignored or feels bad afterward.

From @OliviaDresher: Imagining a city of blind people where everyone touches canes instead of shaking hands.

This tweet could produce a Twilight Zone style story. Or it could provoke a surreal poem. Plus, a writer doesn't have to just play off blind people; this tweet makes me consider other handicaps and how it might change the world if everyone had it.

From @meandmybigmouth: Saw an empty Nutella jar on the sideboard and almost lost it. Then saw a full one in the cupboard. Crisis averted.

The story of someone who overreacts to situations. There are two ways to take such a character: either down the path of comedy or the road of drama. Either way, the character would be most compelling if he or she is in a constant state of highs and lows.

Anyway, these tweets were up at like 5 a.m. and are just a random sampling. But it shows that Twitter has at least one more use for writers: unintentional writing prompts!


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Unknown said...

Just proves that if you pay attention, you are never without inspiration - or a prompt. I love this idea.

Heather@ Creative Family Moments said...

I love this! What a great way to get back on track too when you find yourself drifting to twitter or facebook when you should be working!

Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

Never thought of tweets this way, but thanks for the inspiration!

Unknown said...

Perfect idea! Inspiration is everywhere. Also, LOVED the twitter helps. Thank you a TON. Saved that one to Evernote. Fo shizzle. ;)

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

It never occurred to me that you can use Tweets for story ideas. Thanks, Robert!

Mina Lobo said...

What a nifty idea! Thanks!

Unknown said...

And here was me busy trying to think up inspiring tweets to write--Hah! Now I'll take a different approach...and who knows? I might be inspired to write something interesting myself.