Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Encyclopedia of Writer's Terms.

In case your wondering what some words are, I've provided a list of common words you might see here on the blog or on other sites/books devoted to writers. Note this list can and will be long. If you see something that should be added or changed, please comment!

About the Author- Usually a part in the back of the book where readers can learn cool things about an author. They're usually always written in third-person although the author themselves actually is the one who writes it.

Advance- A payment given to an author before the book is published. It also can mean an advance payment against the expected royalties your book may earn.

Adult- A genre of books geared to anyone 18 or older.

Agent- Some agents come in different catagories (like literary, flim, or talent), but in our case we usually mean literary agents. These type of agents are an infividual or business that will represent manyscripts to publishers. They will usually expect some kind of commission on the sales of the manuscript. (usually 10-15%). Note: If an agent expects you to pay to help you, don't accept. These are usually scam artists.

All rights- If you grant these to a publisher or someone, it means they earn the rights to your story. It's no longer yours. It's probably best to never sell these.

Anthology- A collection of short stories, novelettes, or novellas written by more than one author kept in one book. Sometimes they have themes and others don't.

Audience- The people your writing for. (Ex. A YA [young adult] novel is generally written to people between the ages of 12-18).

ARC- Also known as an adanced reader's Copy. These are given out before the book is published. They are not the final copy and usually will contain some errors and can be changed later on.

Bio- Abbreviation for biographical stuff about the author.

Blurb- This an endorsement of a book by an editor, writer, celebrity, reviewer, or expert who might be recognized by people and might encouage more people to buy that book.

Children's books- Books written for children 11 and younger.

Cliche- Something that's been used so much that its lost its power, newness, originality, etc. (Ex. It was a dark and stormy night...)

Copyright- Legal protection against copying someone else's work.

Cover art- The original artwork, illustration or a picture used for your book's dust jacket or cover.

Cover letter- A brief letter sent with a sibmission. It might contain information about the content and the author.

E-book- Why am I even including this? You never know, there might be some person out there who has never heard of this. A book published for the web, an e-reader (electronic reader, like the Kindle or Nook), or other electronic device.

Electronic rights- Permission to have your writing appear on the web.

Final draft- A final version of your WIP where all the editing and revising has been done. If your work reaches this stage, congrats and your ready to send it off to agents and publishers!

Freelancer- Someone who works for himself. A freelancer is his own boss.

Foreign rights- Rights sold that allow your work to be sold in other countries.

Ghost writer- The real writer of a book but the credit of the work goes to someone else. People who hire ghost writers generally don't have the time or talent to write the book himself. Sport figures, celebrities and other famous people tend to hire these type of writers.

Genre- A catagory in which a manuscript can fall into. (ex. mystrey and fantasy).

Hard copy- A printed out version of your manuscript.

Hook- A trick that's suppose to capture the reader's attention and make him want to read more.

ISBM- International Standard Book Number.

Indie- A small, independent publisher.

Mary Sue/Gary Sue- In which a story is turned into somekind of a wish-fulfillment fantasy, often involving romantic elements with a cast of characters. Or a type of character who represents an idealied version of the author.

MC- Main Character.

MSS- Manuscript.

Multiple submissions- When yu send one work to more than one publisher or agent at the same time. Its usually not recommended you do this but if you do, make sure to tell the publisher or agent that you're doing this.

Nanowrimo- National Novel Writing Month. Usually in November in which writers try to write 50,000
words or less in a month. Usually 50,000 if you're not part of the Young Writer's program.

Outline- A mapped out plan for your story. Some people like them and other's don't.

Pen Name- Not the writer's legal name. Also called a "pseudonym".

Pitch- Refers to a short summary or blurb that is suppose to entice readers.

Plagiarism- When you steal something that's not your own and take credit for it. Usually a writer's worse nightmare.

Platform- This is given for any type of way that people will get to know an author. It can be a blog, an appearance on a TV show or radio, other publishing deals, etc.

POV- Point of View. The way your story is told. (Ex. First person).

Public domain- Something that's never been copyrighted or work that's no longer copyrighted.

Publication date- The date set for your work to be published.

Publisher- A person or company responsible for the entire process of producing books for the public.

Query letter- A letter to an agent or publisher sent out to find out if they will be interested in your work.

Reader- You! Or anyone who reads something. They're VERY important.

Rejection slip- Another writer's nightmare. When a publisher or agent rejects your work.

Review- An evaluation of a book which can help sales or make them worse.

Royalty- A payment agreed on upon by the publisher and author for the percentage of the book's earnings.

SASE- Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope. An envelope that is addressed to yourself with postage attached. If you're sending something to an agent or publisher by mail, usually you'll want to send this if you'd like your manuscript or whatever sent back.

Sample chapters- Usually the first three chapters of a manuscript sent to an agent or publisher to see how well your manuscript is written.

Self-publishing- When the author publishes something by him/herself and pays for the actual printing, marketing, and distribution and who receive all the profits.

Slush pile- Generally, submissions sent to publishers or agents without their permission.

Subtext- A story within a story. Or another story that is happening at the same time as the main story but doesn't get a lot of focus.

Synopsis- Usually a one-page to ten-page summary of your book. Short ones are one pages, and long ones are longer than that.

Troll- A mythical creature or an unkind person on the internet.

Unsolicited submissions- A submission other than a query letter sent to a publisher or agent that wasn't requested. Send your query letter first and then if they ask for the chapters or manuscript, it's not unsolicited anymore.

WC- Word Count. How ever many words long your work is.

Writer's Block- A common illness that effects a writer causing them to have trouble writing something. If you know a writer or are a writer suffering from this, give don't pressure them to write. Instead, provide them with their favorite snack, something to write on or with, time alone, and let them be. There are many ways to cure this horrible illness.

YA- A genre geared towards readers 12-18.

Predators&Editors- Glossary- For a longer list, click here.
The Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel

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