Welcome to Twitter, Please Surrender Your Sanity

Despite the intense-sounding title, this is supposed to be a light-hearted post. As many of you know, Twitter is THE premier watercooler-esque hangout spot for procrastinating creative folks. However, Twitter can be an overwhelming, confusing place. It has an etiquette code all its’ own, and sometimes, stumbling around it can make you feel super old and out of the loop.


Twitter Etiquette 101!

Don’t be an egg. Seriously. (I’m referring to the default Twitter user profile picture of an egg)  Even if it’s just a picture of your favorite anime character, your cat, or a can of soda, it’s better than being an egg. Many people refuse to follow “egg” accounts, because nine times out of ten, they’re a spam account. Twitter users will connect with you better if your profile picture shows some of your personality, even if it’s not a photo of you.



Like a friend’s thought? A fav will do. Want to end a conversation, but not in a rude way? Just fave the last tweet the other person said. Fav-stars for everyone! However, if you want to signal-boost a friend’s blog post, article, or thought, a retweet will provide them much more exposure.


Well, maybe not THIS much exposure


Hashtags are great, right? We #should #hastag #EVERYTHING, #right?

Nope. That’s annoying. It also looks spammy, and it’s hard to read. Use hashtags like a seasoning. Put the hashtag at the end of the tweet. However, if you want to discuss a commonly hastagged item, then it’s totally fine. For example, there’s no sense writing “I’m so excited about Pitch Wars. #pitchwars”  Just use, “I’m so excited about #pitchwars.”

Try to avoid using too many hashtags in your bio, too. It’s harder to read, but a few targeted ones can make you more discoverable to new followers.



Twitter is an amazing place because you can read the tweets of anyone; famous authors, celebrities, your sister-in-law’s cousin’s next-door-neighbor… but use some common sense. Don’t be that person answering every single tweet from a big-name author, or creep out an average person by favoriting every single tweet they post. Ask youself: Does this person follow me? Do they answer and favorite my tweets? Will this be the first or second time I’ve interacted with them today? If the answer is “No” to at least one of these, slow down. If the answer is no to all of them, then definitely don’t do it.




Provide content on Twitter. It’s not just a place for emotional rants, sub-tweets(when you try to call someone out without actually calling them out) and retweeting all the time. Interact with people. Make friends. Share pictures of your city, gifs of your fav shows, funny thoughts.  Don’t share photos of other people, or kids though. Remember. Twitter isn’t like Facebook. It’s very, very not private.  Anything you share, rude, funny, embarrassing, whatever, may become viral.



Twitter also isn’t a marketplace. Constantly tweeting links asking people to buy your books, your art, your collection of bannana peels won’t result in many sales, and in fact, a lot of people will mute or block you. Aim for one sales-based tweet a week or so, more if you’re gearing up for a launch, but never more than three times a day.

Don’t schedule the same sales tweet to show up multiple times. That might work for commercials, but it doesn’t work for Twitter. Likewise, don’t constantly retweet other people’s sales tweets. DO NOT ever auto-dm people. Most Twitter users will auto-unfollow someone who does this. It’s annoying, rude, and makes it seem like you’re only on Twitter to sell things.


Not the right attitude for Twitter

Finally, be nice to people. There’s a real live person behind every twitter account (except for the spam accounts.) Try to treat them like real people. Don’t jump on a tweet and try and turn it into an argument. Don’t pester people begging for a retweet or to be noticed. Don’t send creepy DMs.

Be kind.


And if you got through this whole lecture, and want to be my Twitter friend, find me at @writer_carrie (link here)

Character Depiction Differences

As a writer, creating dynamic characters is one of my favorite things. I’m one of those writers, who can tell you what the character was like as a five-year-old, what their favorite food is and where they’ll be in ten years. For an extrovert like me, getting to know my characters is as important as getting to know my friends.

But, the funny thing about writing is that all we have are our words. We might blog the perfect fan-cast, but at the end of the day, our words are the only indicators readers have of a character’s looks.

And, sometimes, what the reader sees is very different from the writer’s intention. For example, I remember being so upset when the first Harry Potter movie came out, because in my head, Prof. McGonagall was young, perhaps like Anne Hathaway (Or an older version of me?) In that same series, I, along with other fans, were crushed to find Sirius and Remus not portrayed by hunky dudes.

With my own writing, I’ve witnessed people get get character descriptions wrong, no matter how clearly I thought I worded it. Sometimes, this is important in the case of ensuring the minority characters are not white-washed, but sometimes it’s just funny. As writers, I think we need to remember this, so we don’t get too stressed out about finding the perfect adjective for hair color.

Case in point: my character, Kenzie. His first line of description is, “His grey tee shirt displayed two muscular, tattooed arms. Ashy blond hair shaded intense amber eyes, the stormy sort that made you take a step back. ”

Now, I’ve asked some of my favorite critique partners to pick actors they thought resembled him. All images from Pinterest. Ready?




Scott McKidd!


Keith Moon!


Gimli and Hagar the Horrible merged together!



Gerard Butler!

So, yeah. Every one of these people have read the exact same book, and saw the same character very differently. Pretty cool, huh? (My idea of who should play Kenzie is at the end of this post)

What characters do you picture differently than their film version? Have your readers ever seen a character in your writing totally unlike what you see? I’d love to know!

And my choice for Kenzie.


Robert Carlyle!