Saturday, January 23, 2010

Writerly Buzzwords

Of late, I've been spending an awful lot of time at the Teens Writing for Teens thread on Absolute Write. And I have been coming across so many terms that people outside the circle of crazed writers on the query-go-round, on sub, and hey, even on the bookshelves, know anything about. One of them is my best friend, who has been increasingly going "what?" when I talk about writing stuff (to be fair, when she talks about colorists and inkers and various kinds of pens, I'm just as confused. ;P).

So, in an effort to chronicle writing lingo, I shall make a list. And will probably forget a lot (a note: I need to write a post about writing things down as opposed to saying to myself that I'll remember something for later, 'cause that never works).

1. query - the business letter for writers. Basically, saying to a prospective agent "my book is cool, ask for more and I will love you forever."

2. query-go-round - that hellish time of sending emails out into the interwebs and hoping for a response. And getting rejections out of most of those responses.

3. synopsis - not your middle school book report summary. This explains the plot, as does the query, but a) is longer, b) reveals the ending, and c) is more plot driven while a query is more character driven. Methinks.

4. SNI - stands for Shiny New Idea. What I call a plot bunny, for this reason: calling something a shiny new idea suggests that it is pretty and distracting you from whatever you're supposed to be doing. Calling something a plot bunny seems, to me, to signify something that is cute and attention-getting, but once you first pay attention to it it will BITE YOU AND NEVER LET YOU GO.

5. agents - awesomeness squared.

6. publishers - awesomeness cubed.

(I feel like I'm being very obvious here, but the good one I had before is not coming to me. See writing things down prior to forgetting them.)

7. sleep deprivation - perfectly normal.

8. the "you-suck" soundtrack - the case of the blues that all writers are fighting off on a constant basis. Writing is a constant ego-maker and -breaker. Depending upon the particular second.

9. voice - God, but I've heard a lot about voice lately. Basically, the way your character talks, especially applicable to first person since the way the character talks is the prose for the whole book.

10. trope - generally obnoxious stereotypes (usually particular to a genre, like the old mentor type in fantasy stories) that are extremely fun to mess with.

Well. There's ten, anyway. I feel like this could have been a good deal more original, but alas, that's where the not writing things down comes in.

So, does anybody have any other writerly buzzwords I seem to have left out? Do please comment and tell me! :D


  1. Haha @ the awesomeness squared/cubed. Don't think you left out anything!

  2. This is so awesome! And I'm stealing the idea of the plot bunny. Cute! :D

  3. Plot bunnies! They want to take over the world! (Also, never leave them alone together. Then you get MORE plot bunnies!)