This post, by Tina Pinson, originally appeared on her Write Where I Want To Be blog on 6/7/12.

You have mastered the English language, well, sort of… and you are fluent in three different languages, like me… okay not really. I have a hard enough time with English as a first language. Took four years of German and one of Turkish and remember barely enough to get by.

Then, just when I thought school was over, I had to learn Writernese. What is that you may ask? Simply put… it the language of writers. Writerspeak.


And if you’re a writer, you know that writerspeak is often times hard to grasp. Kind of like cyberspeak. IMHO BTW LOL

I thought it would be prudent to take a look at Writernese and see if we can decipher some the meanings behind the words and acronyms to help us speak the language.

Common Writernese Terms and Acronyms. Trying to understand these few aspects of Writernese could be a brief exercise in madness, but it’s a start.

EC: External Conflict (oppositions or physical threats to heroine or hero reaching their goals–i.e.: villain, journey, opponent)

IC: Internal Conflict (character’s emotional struggles and growth)

GMC: Goals, Motivation, Conflict

Goals– your character has a goal that he or she needs to reach.
Motivation– what sends them out to accomplish the goal?
Conflict — all the trials and thorns thrown in the path of your character to keep him/her from reaching goal. (when established, these set up the premise of a book, the overriding theme)

Climax — a moment of great intensity that usually brings events to a head and moving toward the conclusion.

Foreshadowing — adding hints and important information earlier on in the story that tip the reader off to what may come.

Resolution — can be done on varying levels, like resolving problems in the story. Or resolving the main conflict.

Genre — the kind of story being written; Gothic, Mystery, Romance, Inspirational, Sci Fi, Women’s Fiction, Speculative… etc.

HEA: Happily Ever After (the resolution/ type of ending expected in a Romance novel) Think Fairy Tales. Hello, Prince Charming.

H/H: Hero and Heroine
Protagonist — the main character
Antagonist — opposition to protagonist… enemy

MS: Manuscript

WIP: work in progress. Unfinished Manuscript

POV: Point Of View — What a character can see or hear. (If it’s dark he or she probably can’t tell you someone’s eye color. If it’s behind them they can’t give detail.)

1st person POV — Spoken and told by one character in their viewpoint alone throughout the story. Uses I to lead sentences and so forth.

3rd person POV — Storytelling told using third person pronouns like he/she. This POV can be Limited or Omniscient.

Limited — The writer sticks closely to one character’s feelings, thoughts and viewpoint, while other characters are added externally.

Omniscient — The storyteller knows all the views and can bring in several character’s point of views for the story. POV purists prefer that one POV is used in one scene to avoid head hopping.


Read the rest of the post —and maybe even bookmark it for future reference— on Write Where I Want To Be.

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