Writers. We’re kind of a strange breed. We’re proud of the fact that our computer keys are too worn to read, we like to follow teenagers around and record their conversations (it’s *research* people!) and we like to use strange words that make non-writer-people go “huh?”
Whether you are one of those afore mentioned non-writer-people or you are a wannabe author who is attempting to describe your publishing ambitions to your mom (or neighbor, or cat, or anyone who will listen to you drone on and on about your imaginary character who is more swoon-worthy than Edward Cullen), this glossary is for you.
- Advance – No, an advance is not a sleazy pick up line that someone says when they’re trying to hit on you. (Side note: where did the phrase “hit on” come from, and how on earth is “hitting on” someone supposed to be a good thing for a relationship?) An advance is the money an author gets before their book actually sells any copies.
- ARC – Advanced Reader Copies. Before an author’s book is available “in theaters near you,” there are ARCs of their books so that bloggers can praise their mad skillz and get the buzz out. And so that anyone who is bitter over not getting an ARC can give the book a one star rating on Amazon because that makes them feel whole inside.
- Beta reader – Not to be confused with a betta fish, a beta reader is someone who reads a writer’s manuscript after it’s been hacked apart by the author’s CPs (see definition below) but before the writer sends it on to agents. Hopefully a beta reader will be more gentle than the Siamese fighting fish whose name is so similar.
- CPs – Critique partners. The first line of defense for when a writer needs to have their reality checked. Writers have CPs read their first drafts (and second, and third …) so that the CPs can tell them about the 87 plot holes that they missed.
- MS – Manuscript. ‘Nuff said. Moving on.
- Pantser vs. Plotter – Someone who de-pants people vs. someone who likes to plant things. No, not really. Pantsers like to write by the seat of their pants, while plotters like to write by something else. (Something called an … outline? Never heard of it.)
- Query – A request for rejection. We writers send out query letters whenever we want an agent to verify that our novel, does in fact, stink.
- Slush pile – The quagmire of ‘requests for rejections’ that an agent must wade through to find the diamond in the rough that is your manuscript–or so you hope.