12 Writing Prompt Twitter Accounts Every Aspiring Author Needs To Follow

Anyone who has tried to write a short story, fanfic, or novel has experienced writer's block: that terrible phenomenon when all your words leave you staring at a blank page. If you're stuck on your project, I've got 12 writing prompt Twitter bots you should follow to beat back writer's block with a heavy stick.

Writing prompt Twitter bots are exactly what they sound like: automated Twitter profiles that tweet out randomly generated prompts on a regular basis. They're created by programmers, and every bit of each tweet — from syntax to semantics — is determined by code.

Speaking from personal experience, it can be difficult to find writing prompts that aren't intended for children or teachers of children. Sources for prompts can be unreliable; blogs shut down, columns get cut, and people move on. Thankfully, Twitter bots will always have fresh writing prompts for you, so long as nothing gets messed up in their code.

The writing prompt Twitter bots below aren't geared toward writers of any particular genre, although fantasy authors may find the lot of them more useful than, say, literary fiction or crime thriller authors. So trust me, there's more than enough writing inspiration waiting for you here.

Check out the 12 writing prompt Twitter bots I think you should follow, and share your favorite prompt generators with me on Twitter!

1@MagicalRealismBot

By far my favorite writing-prompt generator on Twitter, the Magical Realism Bot turns out a fabulist writing prompt every two hours.

2@censusAmericans

Looking to generate some backstories for your characters? FiveThirtyEight's censusAmericans bot uses data from the U.S. census to generate a random citizen every hour.

3@YouAreCarrying

YOU ARE CARRYING is an extremely fun, interactive-fiction (IF) bot. Tweet "i" or "inventory" to @YouAreCarrying to get a random assortment of items from a game. For added fun, draw yourself — or your character — with the items and tweet the image back to @YouAreCarrying.

4@soft_focuses

I have absolutely no idea where this Twitter bot sources its words, but it's slightly terrifying to think about. Go to the @soft_focuses bot if you need an unsettling image to jumpstart your writing.

5@dreamhaver

Another favorite for fantasy and speculative fiction fans, dreamy bot tweets out a dream setting or plot every hour.

6@pictureprompts

Every day at 6:31 P.M. EST, Picture Prompts gives you a random image for all your writing-inspiration needs.

7@UnlikelyPowers

If you want to give your heroes and villains some weird abilities, Unlikely Powers should be your go-to source for writing prompts.

8@hourlyprompts

Doing a word sprint? Head over to the Hourly Prompts Twitter bot and write for 60 minutes about their latest word.

9@manplots

Want a story you wouldn't normally think to write? Man Plots generates a hyper-masculine plotline every six hours.

10@fantasticvocab

Like the Hourly Prompts bot, Fantastic Vocab tweets several one-word writing prompts per day. Unlike Hourly Prompts, Fantastic Vocab makes up the words and definitions that it tweets out.

11@all_alike

All Alike is intended to be used by IF writers, but there's no reason you can't take some inspiration from it for your novel or short story. Use one of this Twitter bot's rooms in your story's beginning, its end, or anywhere in between.

12@howboutyouwrite

Home of the "worlds best writing prompts [sic]," the Writing Prompts Twitter bot posts one new prompt every hour. Because it draws from a wide base of source material — "Red Wedding" has been turning up a lot lately, at the time of this writing — the Writing Prompts bot is perfect for anyone, even fanfiction writers.