There were the usual complaints about the popularity of vampires and a certain shade of color on the spectrum, along with witticisms about the misuse of punctuation and the travails of publishing in general. There were also several guilt-ridden quips about taking the time right then to tweet about writer hell.I'm of the opinion that exercises like this are great for the writer-mind. Like yoga for synapses, we get the chance to limber up, stretch, and oh my− even interact at times (something becoming increasingly rare on twitter with the addition of hootsuite and tweetdeck).
Question: What do you get when you put 400 writers together on the internet?Answer: Automatic messages hawking 400 books.
Now there's one part of writer hell we forgot to mention. But getting back to #writerhell the other night, it was a genuine and interactive experience to exercise creativity, watch other writers do the same, and even start some dialogues. Activities like this are opportunities not just to get out of the box, but to blow the box up and start thinking sideways. As a writer, sideways thinking comes in handy. Then again, I'm the one during the recent Hadron Collider news whose impulse for hours was to make as many Higgs-boson quips as I could concoct. I'm weird like that, but take advantage when something comes along that adds vitamin C to your own creative juices.
Facebook has a number of author groups that offer opportunities for writing exercises as well. There are worse things than testing uncharted writing waters among like-minded and supportive authors. Some of the groups are based on promotion while others bar promotion and are simply there for support. A few of the Facebook groups that regularly have participatory writing exercises are: "Beta Reader Writers Club", "First 5 Chapters", and "Indies R Us"; a couple of others that offer different types of support are "Tweets4authors" and "Review Seekers".
I certainly got my exercise from an hour in writer hell as did a number of others. According to us, writer hell varies from hells of format, dead authors, the writing process, and ones actual location in the underworld. And while it may be hell, the witmosphere is dry− very, very dry.
In writer hell, writing may be.......hell:
· In #writerhell there are no odd jobs to do, no paperclips to unclip, no email inboxes to sort out. Courtesy of @etakelly· In #writerhell you must diagram all your sentences.
· In #writerhell you are paid based on the number of people who understand your writing as you meant it.
· In #writerhell psychopaths had kind fathers and authors have to *think* about why some people bury others alive. Courtesy of @ChrisEverheart
· In #writerhell, the only font available is wingdings.
· n wrtr hll thr r n vwls Courtesy of @etakelly
· Virgil lives in #writerhell...Dante visits on occasion...patronising git. Courtesy of @etakelly
· Where Gore Vidal hears The Simpsons given as the definition of wit.
· In #writerhell Kerouac is in charge of format and Cummings is punctuation editor.
· When you start writing a flashback and suddenly find yourself at NASCAR. Then you realize you're in a Burroughs cut up novel.
· Where metaphor is illegal, verbs & nouns require American Express and adjectives are served free with cocktails.
· In #writerhell, syntax is something we grape refrigerator.
· An eternal night for the larks, an eternal dawn for the owls: working days in #writerhell. Courtesy of @etakelly
Most surreal writer hell:
· Where discovery of Higgs-boson is explained by national media. Or is that science hell? Streams cross. The Stay Puft Marshmallow man goes down.
Writer hell is sometimes present day:
· Where dictionary.com is the etymology resource of expertise.
· Where the Algonquin Round Table is held at Amazon.com.
· Where you must fit all the creativity of the universe into a wee box called "genre".
· Where books are declared passé by 12 year olds.
· Where writers chastise other writers for writing in #writerhell, then themselves. #Writerhell trends. Presses stop. Cats twitch.
· Where "work" is actually that thing that takes you AWAY from writing. And that is why writerhell flows with ink stained tears.
Finally, remember: the road to writer hell is always paved with bestseller intentions.
If you have a fantastic #writerhell quip that you think should be included contact firstname.lastname@example.org or @kdrose1 on Twitter.