Can Texting Improve Your Writing?

Can Texting Improve Your Writing?


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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
“WTF?”
“Seriously. #soawesome.”
“OMG.”
“Totally.”

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.

Can Texting Improve Your Writing?

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?

  1. Every time you want to write WTF rather write the feeling.
  2. Instead of saying OMG, think, Oh my grammar! and make an effort to write a real word.
  3. Instead of tweeting start tweaking. We spend so much time perfecting a tweet; spend the same amount of time on your sentences.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Happy writing.

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. 5 Ways For Writers To Conquer Frustration
  2. How To Find Writing Treasure In Your Own Back Yard
  3. Write About What Matters
  4. The 3 Surprises You Need In A Story
  5. 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.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Phandeluys

    ” … because you are a writer and that(‘) how you brain deals with life.” Yes, I read the article and not just skimmed it. ;-}

  2. Gunar

    I read throughout the article, I like it. ^_^

  3. Augie

    txting can be used efffectively in dialogue between characters who communicate that way, but it does not improve your writing. It actually slows the pace down because you’re thinking too much about the abbreviatio. there is no abbreviation is real communication.

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