7 Tips to Putting Social Media in Fiction

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Being a fantasy author, this really isn’t my area of expertise.  Closest thing to social media in my world are telepaths and that’s a little bit too invasive.  Okay, maybe they’re not as invasive as Facebook, but we’ll see where this goes.  By the way, Bedlam doesn’t help me either because nobody has the time for tweets when there are cannibals sizing you up for a pot.

  1. Figure out a fun way to reveal the tweets, posts, and status updates.  Characters can talk about them, but that can be boring.  You can always go the italic route in the middle of conversations or use it for an opener.  Barring all of that, you could just write the entire thing in tweets.  What could go wrong?
  2. Create your own social media program to avoid getting sued.  Look at what’s wrong with the current crop and improve on it.  Talk to people about your ideas and see if they have suggestions.  Once you have a new social media program ready, give up on the story and make friends with a programmer.  You might be on to something there.
  3. It pays to have the characters that aren’t on the social media site even if it’s a central part of the story.  We all have those people in our lives who refuse to get in social media or consider it evil.  They rant about it while outside in the fresh air and away from their phones.  Basking in the sun instead of staying indoors to become paler than a Twitter egg.  Fools.
  4. Never forget the essential social media faux pas.  There’s always that typo or misunderstanding that changes everything.  After all, it isn’t like people think before reacting to a social media post.  They never consider it was an innocent mistake because they forget that it wasn’t long ago that they wrote ‘boob’ instead of ‘book’.  Like they’re so perfect.
  5. Drunk social media never ends well, but cannot be avoided.  Commonly involves nudity or requests for sex being sent to a parent.
  6. Oversharing is a necessity.  Can’t have social media without at least one character who reports on what they ate, reveals everything their kids did, or announces every little detail of their life.  Not to mention the online quizzes, political posts, personal pictures that are one breeze away from porn, and some fairly questionable things.
  7. Never forget the hashtags.  No matter how ridiculous or nonsensical they are.  You need your hashtags.  Otherwise, it isn’t really a social media site.  Might as well just do something crazy like send letters by mail.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to 7 Tips to Putting Social Media in Fiction

  1. Ha ha, Charles, this is very good. Your comment on sending a letter really made me giggle. That works in the US or UK but here in South Africa, the post takes up to four months which puts an entirely new spin on the concept of “slow mail”.

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  2. “Paler than a Twitter egg.” Ha, ha! Love this post – informative and funny. 😀

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  3. I would love to work social media into a story. This is a good checklist.

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  4. L. Marie says:

    Great tips! I took number 2 to heart and created my own social media outlets in my middle grade novel. (Ha ha! I was tempted to give up on the story.) 😀

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  5. One thing to be wary of is how fast fashions change in the online world. MySpace used to be all the rage. Now it’s hardly ever used. So if your social media references are too specific, they may become outdated just as quickly.

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  6. Pingback: Writing Links 6/12/17 – Where Genres Collide

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