While some think that 140 characters is limiting, it’s actually enlightening because it reveals the art and essence of truly well-written prose. A tweet may have to be short, but the good ones are long on style and substance and the best can speak volumes by saying very little. In fact, Twitter’s cap on characters makes the social media network a valuable tool for writers by forcing them to find the few words that make the maximum impact. To see how some savvy writers are making the most of this social short-form, Poynter.org featured the best of the brief.
1. The Jokes of Author Jennifer Weiner – Weiner’s tweets have a sense of humor and self-conscious humility that make them instantly relatable. She also knows how to punctuate phrases at the perfect point to imbue her words with both satire and significance.
2. The Language of Los Angeles Times’ Henry Fuhrmann – Fuhrmann’s comments are informal and inspired, and they demonstrate his love of language. The joy he takes in the written word make syntax, grammar, and punctuation downright delightful. He’s also skilled at using Twitter handles, posting links, and reining in his writing.
3. The Wit of New York Times reporter Frank Bruni – Bruni’s food-focused tweets are wonderfully witty and concisely convey his thoughts in a playful way. His has very strong opinions and shrewdly uses carefully crafted series of short sentences to emphasize his personal tastes.
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4. The Clarity of Author Susan Orlean – Orlean’s tweets brim with sage advice and she’s somehow able to express words of wisdom in 140 characters or less. She serves as a model for achieving clarity through concision.
5. The Balance of Atlanta Journal-Constitution – The newspaper’s tweets are handled by a team of five employees who skillfully balance important information with fun-loving humor. They know when to be serious and when to be silly, yet infuse their creative spirit into every story.
It’s amazing how good writing can transcend length and limits, yet Twitter is a testament to the power of quality over quantity.
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