C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Stuff about Twitter that bothers you (but doesn’t bother me)

It’s interesting what grinds other people’s gears. Here are some complaints I’ve seen about Twitter etiquette. Let’s discuss, with fencing

English: The content of tweets on Twitter, bas...

English: The content of tweets on Twitter, based on the data gathered by Pear Analytics in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

terms*! En francais! Commence! En garde!

Duel 1

Attaque indirecte: Some consider it a breach of etiquette to have too many #hashtags in your Twitter post.

Froisssement: How many is “too many” and who made you king? Got any other arbitrary rules? Are you the one who made spats go away? If there were still spats, I’d definitely be one of those guys wearing spats! I’m still rocking the fedora.

Duel 2

Coup droit: After being followed, some consider it bad manners for the followee to have the audacity to send a message with a welcome autotweet. As in, “Thanks for climbing on board! If you want to know more about me, here’s my website etc.,…

Septime haute: This is another arbitrary one and I could very well argue that (a) you followed me and that’s how I run my show. You don’t like it, you know where the “unfollow” button is. (b) It seems an awfully friendly gesture of politeness to welcome someone to your Twitter stream if they thought you were cool enough to follow in the first place. You say “rude” and I reply “friendly”. That is the stalemate of our conversation of crossed swords.

However, so we don’t end in a draw and since so many people took this bit of etiquette as the new social contract on Twitter, I capitulated. I don’t do the gentlemanly thing anymore. I’m glad to have new followers on Twitter, but I don’t send out the auto-welcome anymore. If you follow me (@rchazzchute), you now have no idea that I give a shit.

Bravo. You win. Touché!

Duel 3

Opposition: But Chazz, autotweets are rude!

Passata-sotto: If that’s all you have to give, yes. However, autotweeting had its place as a useful time management tool. If you have a decent following on Twitter, it’s impossible to “engage” everyone. Then somebody made up a rule that autotweets are rude and too many people believed them.

There’s always somebody who wants to round up the cows and put a fence around them when they were just fine in the open field minding their own business. Scolds are awfully boring people, aren’t they? I should know. I’m being one right now.

Duel 4

Coup droit: If you can’t engage everyone adequately, you must be following too many people.

Balestra & beat: If you don’t follow enough people, maybe you’re a narcissist who isn’t really all that interested in the world.

Presser: But what’s with all these people spamming us all the time? They’re shameless!

Double: Maybe they just aren’t funny or useful enough, but that’s not spam. I don’t believe in spam. It’s only spam if it’s fraud from a Nigerian prince who wants to give you money from a needlessly complex banking transaction that start’s out, “Dear beloved, I’m going to prey upon your desperation, gullibility and greed…”

Mal-parry (in your Monty Python voice) SPAM! SPAM! SPAM! 

Remise: When you cry “SPAM!”, I hear that you aren’t interested. But if you wanted it — whatever it is — you’d be pleased to be made aware of the opportunity from a brilliant author, entrepreneur or artist. We’re not all into the same stuff, that’s all.

Coup de taille: When I look at Twitter, I see no spam. I see stuff I ignore and stuff that intrigues me. I do not cast aspersions on people who try to sell me on anything sports-related. I pity them because they don’t know that I have no interest in cheap Superbowl tournament tickets. (Is “tournament” the right word for a swimming competition such as the Superbowl?)

Attaque au fer: Seems petty to be mean to people who are just trying to get attention to their art and support their families. If you tried their wares, you might even enjoy yourself. We’re all just squirrels trying to get a nut and chances are, you have a job, too. Either you’re advertising your business to keep eating or someone is doing it for you. Advertising is so easy to ignore, it’s impossible for me to get upset about it.

Coup d’arret: It’s not that the drumbeat of “Buy my books” is offensive. The problem is that it’s ineffective. We have to be funnier, smarter and more creative than that.

Me B&W~ Confession: I, Robert Chazz Chute, fenced in college. The most fun I ever had wasn’t the formal training. It was in practice when we’d fence without supervision, sometimes three at a time! It was less like a stuffy fencing school and more like The Princess Bride. Everything’s more fun when it’s less stuffy, including Twitter.

If you’re interested in the meaning of these fencing terms, check them out here. And click here for the latest All That Chazz podcast and links to my books of bizarre themes and intense violence. And don’t cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Cry freedom.

 

Filed under: Publicity & Promotion, Twitter, , , , , , , ,

Ultimate Blog Challenge: The Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Exposition

After reading the book descriptions, someone sent me a question:

“What are your books like?” 

“Suspense that’s often funny with lots of twists,” I said.

“Yeah, but what are they like?”

Um…what? I wasn’t sure what they were getting at, so I replied via email.

If you like:

the twists of William (The Princess Bride) Goldman’s plots;

the fast pace of a Blake (Run) Crouch;

the worldview of Chuck (Fight Club) Palahniuk;

the punchy, funny dialogue of Elmore (Get Shorty) Leonard;

and the disappointed humanism of Kurt (I shouldn’t have to name any Kurt Vonnegut books! Read them all!) Vonnegut,

then you’ll love my crime novel Bigger Than Jesus. Enjoy!

My potential reader/interrogator then wrote, “I’m not familiar with any of those books so don’t tell me about them. Tell me what your book is like!”

I sighed and then I fired off another helpful email:

Best chocolate chip cookies I've made in decades.

Best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made in decades. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Don’t you love chocolate chip cookies when they’re straight out of the oven? The chocolate is melting a bit and you risk burning your tongue because you can hardly wait. These are the best-tasting chocolate chip cookies ever. You force yourself to slow down and put one in your mouth. It’s really soft and you just hold it there as long as you can to savour it while you pour a tall, cold glass of milk? Then the kitchen floor falls out from under you and you’re sucked down into quicksand and you’re trying not to die and you can’t figure out why God hates you and all you want is to get away and make the woman of your dreams love you. You only have seconds before the suffocating sludge is over your head and you’re about to find out if what follows this tortured life is hell or oblivion. Your heart is full of regret and if you can just live, you swear you’ll turn your life around. Kind of like that, but with more jokes.”

No reply yet, but I’m guessing he’s not a reader, anyway.

If they do email again, I’ll suggest they consider breaking down and read a sample chapter.

 

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author Blog Challenge: Writers to adore

The Princess Bride writer William Goldman His ...

The Princess Bride writer William Goldman His Q&A closed the Expo and included the largest audience of the Expo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another writing prompt for the Author Blog Challenge is: Which writers do you most admire? In a week or so I’ll release Bigger Than Jesus, my first crime novel in a series. In part, the book is dedicated to William Goldman. You know the movies he has written: The Princess Bride, Marathon Man, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But you probably don’t know his many novels: Edged Weapons became the movie, Heat with Burt Reynolds; Brothers (a sequel to Marathon Man); and my beloved The Color of Light. What sets Goldman apart is his plotting, his humour and his enormous capacity to surprise the reader. Just when you think you know what happens next, he sucker punches you. I’m all about surprises, too, so I love that.

Who else? Stephen King gets a nod for telling a story straight and well and for sheer output. Chuck Palahniuk is another favorite because we share an interest in the weird but true. Also, Chuck does not rest on his laurels. He takes chances with his books. He’s not trying to do Fight Club over and over and he has even jumped boldly into experimental fiction here and there (like Pygmy and Rant.) What distinguishes his style is that he does not judge his characters. Things happen. Morals are for readers to come up with (or not). There are traits from Goldman, King and Palahniuk I either came by one my own or absorbed. I don’t really believe in emulation of other writers, but I recognize similarities in process.

Recently, someone on a podcast reported that fiction is dead. They said people don’t have time for novels anymore. They want it short and then? Make it shorter than that. The death of the novel has been predicted almost as many times and with as much certitude as “Vampires are so over, man.” I’d worry about the state of fiction, but then I read Run by Blake Crouch and I don’t think we have to worry. Write a great book and tell the story in such a way that the reader can’t put it down. Make them laugh. Make them cringe. Sucker punch them with surprise. The novel will survive. I hope so, anyway, because I am otherwise unemployable.

With each opening, with each beat, with every chapter that ends with a cliffhanger:

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

When Bigger Than Jesus comes out, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

Write to live

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