Writer’s Jargon: A Basic Dictionary

Writer’s Jargon: A Basic Dictionary

When I first joined the writing community, I was pretty much clueless when it came to writer jargon. When people talked about MCs, word sprints, and ships, I just skipped over those posts until I finally got enough courage to ask what those words meant.

Once I learned the terms, I started using them in my everyday conversations with my family. Then they had to ask me what they meant. 😅

So, I hope this quick guide will help you (whether you are a writer or not) to understand some of the slang us writers throw around.

 

Character Arc—A super basic definition is the inner change a character goes through over the course of the story. For example, in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, Edmund goes from being a brat to being a noble king.

Charries—Slang for “characters.”

50k—Writers like to share word counts and the most common way is in the thousands. A book hits novel status around 60k.

Love Triangle—A love triangle happens when there is one girl who has two boys she likes (or who like her). Then she has to decide who she wants to be with. Or vice versa, one boy who likes two girls (or they like him). I’m not a fan of these.

MC—This is one I use all the time. It simply stands for “main character.”

NaNo or NaNoWriMo—A yearly event in November where writers try to write 50,000 words in a month.

Pantser—Someone who writes without an outline, i.e. by the seat of their pants. (more on pantsers)

Planner—Someone who outlines. (more on planners)

Plantser—Someone who is a combination of planner and pantser. (more on plantsers)

Ship—I personally don’t use this one, but I know lots of writers who do. A ship is when you take two characters you think should get married and mash their names together. For example, there are a lot of people who think that Kylo Ren and Rey are falling in love (they aren’t, they’re either siblings or cousins 😉). So, they call the ship, “Reylo.” Weird, right?

WIP—Work-in-progress. This is whatever the writer is working on at the time. Sometimes, we have multiple WIPs at the same time.

Word Sprint—Now that I know what these are, I love doing them! Word sprints are when you and another writer set a time to write together (usually around 30 minutes or so), then after the time is up, you share word counts. Some people view them as competitions and try to get more words than the other person. Others use them for concentration and accountability purposes.

Word War—The same thing as a word sprint.

 

While this certainly wasn’t an exhaustive list, I hope it helps you understand more of the “slang” in the writing community.

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com


 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale plays cello
After abandoning his attempts at piano, Glendale found an instrument his size–a cello! Just don’t tell him it’s a Christmas ornament.

9 Replies to “Writer’s Jargon: A Basic Dictionary”

  1. This post was real helpful! Now if someone would explain the emotocons (or whatever they’re called) constructed from punctuation marks/letters!

  2. Cool post! Definitely a neat idea and very helpful information for those outside of the writing world or new to it. The only term I define differently is Word War.

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