Storytellers need to write properly. In this post, we ask: Can texting improve your writing?
Can Texting Improve Your Writing?
As a writer I hate social media slang. I cannot stand the omission of vowels and I detest weird abbreviations, but I have to confess there are times when only WTF or OMG will do.
- Like when So-and-So is pregnant (by choice) with her third child, but she cannot, and does not, want to deal with the two she already has. The only response is WTF?
- And when you’ve just watched an episode of your favourite series and it threw a curve ball, the only thing to say is OMG.
- Or when your phone lights up and a message blinks on the screen. It’s from your dodgy, but naive cousin:
“Just got a $100 000 raise 🙂 🙂 🙂 #awesome.”
You are immediately convinced that your cousin is being set up as the fall guy in some fraudulent transaction. And because you are a worst case scenario expert you start plotting your rescue plan from there… because you are a writer and that is how you brain deals with life.
The thing is, though, we’re here to write books, not text messages. Text messages are by nature brief, but as a writer I was rather disappointed in my texting-self. I mean WTF? Is that seriously the scope of my literary achievement? OMG. #Sucks.
In short, it makes us lazy. So what do we do?
- Every time you want to write WTF rather write the feeling.
- Instead of saying OMG, think, Oh my grammar! and make an effort to write a real word.
- Instead of tweeting start tweaking. We spend so much time perfecting a tweet; spend the same amount of time on your sentences.
- When the urge to DM someone arrives: Use dialogue instead. Make your characters talk like real people. Not chat room lurkers. Unless your book is about chat room lurkers then this doesn’t apply to you. #obvious.
- Every time you # something, check your punctuation. Make sure you use it properly and that you are not being ambiguous. Would your sentence make sense without the #?
You can use these abbreviations in text messages or social media posts in your stories, but don’t overdo it.
by Mia Botha
If you enjoyed this post, you will love:
- 5 Ways For Writers To Conquer Frustration
- How To Find Writing Treasure In Your Own Back Yard
- Write About What Matters
- The 3 Surprises You Need In A Story
- Six Questions To Ask Before You Even Start Your First Draft
Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course.