January 4, 2021 amanda

Created a New Twitter Bot: 22nd Century Fairy Tales

Ailuridaen and I have been friends since we were juniors in high school, and in the last few years, one of our hobbies has been sending each other created characters over text messages. The format is frequently the same. A [adjective] [person] [who…] [must/has to/writes/reads/finds etc].

They’re little writing exercises, stories we wish we had the time to write or read. Recently she started a Google Sheets with the component parts disassembled into a document, casually mentioning that it would make a good Twitter bot.


I thought.

I kind of want to make a Twitter bot.

My partner pointed me towards some great tools like Tracery and specifically Cheap Bots Done Quick, which I used to take that Google Sheets project and turn it into a bunch of tweets. This is what it looks liked in Tracery (by the way) before I put it into Cheap Bots Done Quick:

a sampling of some potential prompts including "A parasitic influencer who can see in four dimensions must clean up the streets." "A buried grandmother who has a briefcase of diamonds throws a tantrum" and a "An immigrant ballerina who writes poetry goes to night school."

The point of the character creator was to make a bunch of generated things that would be like a list of interesting books to read (I think a bit like the books Chai would tweet about), and I think it actually succeeds at that. The above is from a sheet at about half the current size as it stands now.

The twitter header and profile image for 22nd century fairy tales. the header image says "22nd century fairy tales generated daily" and the description says "22nd century fairy tales, generated daily. created by @ailuridaen & @concealedthread some prompts are NSFW No one under eighteen symbol"The branding was a quick job, done to be vaguely reminiscent of those 99 cent stickers that you’d find at a cheap store. When ailuridaen and I were talking about potential handles I gave her a bunch of potentials and she liked @22centfairytale because it played on both the idea of 22nd century and also price, so when putting together an identity it made sense to play off of that.

It is very yellow.

The final (?) product is actually pretty close to what I think we were both looking for? I’m pretty happy with it. It’s been interesting seeing what it comes up with every day. I check when I log in in the morning to see what it has published in the night.


Also I think after making this one bot, it feels a bit like what people say about tattoos? That it takes you a long time to get your first one, but five minutes afterwards you’re already planning to get your second. I’ve already got some ideas for what I want to make after this.

You can see this Twitter bot here.


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