Need Writing Inspiration? Follow These Twitter Bots
Finally, looking at Twitter when you have writer's block will actually DO something
You don’t know what to write and your Twitter feed is horrible? Kill two birds with one stone by loading up on weird, loopy, gently inspirational Twitter feeds that auto-generate plots, settings, and characters for creative writing. You’re going to be compulsively looking at Twitter anyway when you don’t know what to write; what if it gave you creative energy instead of making you want to lie down on the floor for the rest of time? If you follow these ten accounts, and unfollow everyone else, maybe it can.
Happy Ending Bot
Having a hard time getting your story started? Begin at the end, by lifting one of these bot-generated conclusions.
Magic Realism Bot
This bot by @chrisrodley & @yeldora_ describes scenes from a slightly off-kilter world. Some are funny, many are beautiful, and we’d read almost any of them as a short story.
Writer’s Block Bot
Sometimes trying too hard to come up with a story idea just burns out the words part of your brain—meaning that by the time you hit on one, you’ve lost the ability to actually write it. @nicfoley‘s bot does an end run around that problem by generating prompts using emoji.
Creator @BooDooPerson mashes up motifs from fairy tales and mythology to create a scholarly index of an alternate-universe folklore.
This bot by @SolemnPhiz does what it says on the tin: creates premises for stories that range from the realist (“When a scandal rocks high society, a gangster throws a life-affirming party”) to the genre (“When the locusts return, a magician faces her worst fear.”)
This poetry bot remixes haiku (its source material is mostly English translations of poems by Kobayashi Issa) for tiny, sometimes surprising snippets of beautiful imagery.
Character is plot, but sometimes setting is character, and this bot that generates surreal, poetic garden scenes can put you in a fertile frame of mind.
Many of the best inspiration bots are slightly fantastical, but this bot (by @jiazhang) that tweets tiny portraits of actual Americans based on Census data is straight-up realism. These bare-bones sketches are perfect to populate your literary fiction.
Nerd Garbage Pitches
@NoraReed‘s bot plays on the idea that a lot of cultural properties catering to nerds are just two or more established cultural properties shoved together—but sometimes that’s all you need to find inspiration.
Why write your own work, when there’s a Twitter bot automatically compiling sonnets for you? Pentametron collects tweets that are coincidentally in iambic pentameter, and arranges them into couplets (more or less). Machines still can’t write poetry, but they’re not bad at finding it in unexpected places.