This last reference guide to finding excellent writer’s tools deals less with tools and more with “terms of the trade”. From the outside, the wriggling mass of writers now finding community on the Internet and support groups for the excessively literate, make it look like we all know what we’re doing. This is a very cleverly executed illusion. As with any specialized interest group, professional network, or mystic guild, we have specific words for things only an anal word-monger finds important. Thus, the writer’s glossary. Learn the words and the chatter of writers doesn’t sound nearly so imposing.

Before turning loose these well-assembled glossaries already existing in the interweb of cyberspace, here are a couple of terms found to not actually be universal… and this is tragic since they have made writing quite a bit more fun since their invention. Friends from the UK have asked what a few of these particular terms meant, so here are a couple of terms highlighted from their use in popular writing groups.

Plot Bunnies:

This plot bunny is actually polite! Go figure.

This term is most commonly used where the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) participants dwell. Considering that their goal during each November and June is to churn out 50,000 words in 30 days, it’s little wonder they’ve started seeing phantom rabbits in their dreams.

These intrepid writers use this particular term to describe the exciting little ideas that appear in to distract them from their current work in progress, demanding to be written. The analogy can be drawn that, like rabbits, these enticing ideas for new stories, fresh characters, and exotic settings multiply profusely. Also, like little bunnies covered in fur and blessed with adorable features, they are nearly irresistible. A “plot bunny” could be a picture that begs to have a story attached, an interesting person who crosses the writer’s path and would make an excellent character, or even a dream in the night that comes with an already fleshed out plot. There are often too many when there’s a tedious project at hand, and too few when hunting for inspiration.

Muse:

This is used as a noun, specifically referencing to the eight Greek goddesses of the arts and inspiration. While this is a generally known word, to many socially active writing groups, this term also refers to one’s personal muse who often takes on fascinating and fickle personality traits.

One woman’s muse was described by her as a roguish young man in a leather jacket who prefers to do anything except what he’s told. However, he thoroughly enjoys pointing out absurd situations where others wouldn’t notice, as well as forcefully demanding his favorite scenes to be written… and now! Another writer’s personal muse could be described as a mousy librarian sitting in the wide library of the mind, quietly connecting up all the information the writer forgot they knew. Then, when the higher function is finally settling for sleep, she comes forward to excitedly chatter endlessly about all of the incredible connections, networks, coincidences, and similarities she found during the day, and how they would fit perfectly into a book. A well-behaved muse is about as common as a puppy born house-trained.

The rest of the terms in these glossaries and guides are far more universal, but probably less entertaining. All the same, a summary of the types of words they include can be found under the titles/links. Happy studying!

33 Writing Terms You Should Know | Daily Writing Tips

  • terms used in publication

  • shortened terms for genres

  • definitive lengths for different written forms ie novel vs. novella

Glossary | Word-Mart

  • includes a lot of literary terms mixed in with writers’ terms

  • useful for a brush-up on words you learned in english class

Writing Terms | Richmond.edu

  • this is an expanded glossary of terms

  • This glossary includes writing tools, sub-genres, and skills to develop

  • The definitions are strong and helpful

Writer’s Lexicon | Tameri

  • very specific terms to writing

  • includes terms for screen, theater, poetry, and prose

  • professional terms

Writer’s Glossary | Scribendi

  • Scribendi offers editing services, but their free resources are great too.

  • Definitions are short, but get to the point

Evil Plot Bunny Designs | http://jennachristine.deviantart.com/

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