Writing group

How to talk like a writer so normal people won’t understand you

It’s under clear assumption that a writer is crazy about spelling, grammar and proper usage of words. I mean, why wouldn’t we be? We spend gosh knows how many years writing and rewriting and perfecting (as much as we can,) our novels for the world to hopefully see. It’s only natural that perfectionism comes out in the real world.

At least, when we’re talking to normal people. Everyone knows that a writer cares nothing for spelling mistakes and typos when talking to other writers.

Writing isn’t an easy task, no, but neither is trying to decipher the many different terms we have for the writing process. Which, much like the English language, is often plagued with words that sort of mean the same thing, but are in fact, completely different. it’s made infinetely worse when your normal friends have to stop you mid rant to ask ‘what does that mean?’

For this reason, here is a list of writerly terms to helpĀ  your normal friends understand you better. Or to confuse the heck out of them, it’s up to you.

Protagonist– Your main character. The hero of the story.


MC– Main Character. See above.

Antagonist– The bad guy. The main villain.

Genre– The category your story falls into. There are lots. Normal people can probably name 5 of them. Writers, many more.

Worldbuilding– World building. Where you essentially build your own world from the ground up. Not for the faint hearted.

Outline– The basic ideas for your novel. Can span from short sentences and minor ideas, to all major plot points. Usually the latter.

WIP– work in progress. You should really have one. Some writers have two. Others are crazy and have like, five. Help those writers.

Plot– The events that make up your story. May include copious amounts of death. This is not a bad thing.


Pace– The speed in which your novel is going. How long between plot points, how much time a scene or event takes.

Character arcs– Your characters personal and emotional journey from the beginning of the story, to the end. The arc shows us how the character has changed.

Draft– Your finished novel (before publishing.) You will go through many, many drafts during your revision and editing. You may cry.

Manuscript– Your finished novel in it’s rough, unpublished form. The first (second, third, fiftieth,) draft. A manuscript is more often than not printed.

Revise– Looking at, and changing your story to ensure plot, pace and character arcs. AKA a writers worst nightmare. Not editing.


Edit– Changing your words to improve grammar, spelling and to check facts. Where writers try to shorten their manuscript but end up adding more words instead. Not revising.

Plotter- Someone who insanely plots their novel in intricate detail. The synopsis can basically serve as a first draft.

Panster– Someone who steps off the edge with no parachute, a vague idea and no plan, but writes anyway. They make it up as they go.

Planster– Someone who sort of plots their novel, and also sort of makes it up as they go.

POV– Point of View. Who is telling the story. There are also lots of these.

Beta– Someone who reads your novel during revision to help improve the story.

Ship– a romantic relationSHIP, usually with its own cute name like Harmony, Percabeth and Destiel. (You should know at least one of these.) Writers will spend lots of time coming up with their own. Sometimes they will Ship their own characters. Do not stop them.

Of course there are many more writerly terms out there. But we don’t want to overwhelm the normies anymore than we already do.

Do you guys have any more writerly terms I haven’t listed? I bet you do.


Good thoughts and happy writing!




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