Those acronyms for writers. WTH do they mean?

Think about it. Acronyms are nothing more than ways to get you to remember stuff.

I see them everywhere in the writing world. At conferences. meet ups,  and workshops. It’s a new lingo to pick up on. The world of acronyms writer’s need to know. I’m still learning. Here are some I’ve gathered that may help you out. Some are just useful any time, and ones you made need as a writer acquiring a thick skin.

Backstory. It is B.S. to start your novel with it.


Advanced Reader Copy or Advanced Review Copy. What the author sends out for reviews before it goes to print.

Flash fiction. Some ask what’s the difference between this and a short story? Not much. Flash fiction is generally under 1,000 words.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender. Yes, it’s a genre. Or some spell it LBGT. Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender.

Goals, Motivation, Conflict. Definitely something you need in your story.

Happily Ever After (for romance writers but not for me)

In my humble opinion. You may get this a lot when others read your work.

International Standard Book Number. You’ll need one when you get published.

International Thriller Writers

What you really hope readers don’t do when reading your work unless you’re Dave Barry.

What you try to do to yourself when your writing isn’t going well. This is before anyone else reads it.

Main Character. Try to have only one of these. Good to know who it is too.

Middle Grade fiction for 8 to 12 year olds.

National November Writing Month. Where writers with hair on fire set out to write a novel in 1 month of 50K words.

Pay on Acceptance. For us short story writers or freelance writers.

No, it’s not what Donald Sutherland was trying to escape from in Invasion of The Body Snatchers. It’s Print On Demand. Everyone’s doing it these days. Non-traditional printing. Books are only produced to fulfill an order.

Pay on Publication. Again, For us short story writers or freelance writers.

No, that’s not one to use here but wasn’t it fun to slip in? Only if you’re Sponge Bob would you need this. (People Order Our Patties).  If you’re a real geek here are 58 definitions for the acronym POOP.

Rolling On The Floor Laughing. What you really hope no one does after reading your work, unless it’s a comedy. Also seen as ROFL.

Romance Writers of America

Science Fiction

Science Fiction / Fantasy

To be read or to be released

Too Stupid To Live. Can be your characters if you’re not careful or that annoying person at work who clips his nails in the office.

Work in progress. A manuscript, not a finished book.

Young Adult. Younger YA –  for 12-15 year olds. Older YA – for 15 -17 year olds.

Young adults writing for young adults. Generally authors are ages 12-19.

And if you want to take it further, check out some of the proper ways to include acronyms in your writing.

And for when English is a second language

When you are totally stuck on how to use acronyms and so much more, check out Dr. Grammar for help.

Need an acronym finder? Go here.

Feeling Oo la la? Mess people up with French acronyms

And that’s all I have to say about that. Let’s not even get started with the Twitter acronyms.

Can you come up with any new fun ones like these?




Filed under Writing Resources

8 responses to “Those acronyms for writers. WTH do they mean?

  1. This will help a lot of people, Donna! I have to admit, not being a romance writer, it took me a long while to figure out HEA when I first encountered it. 🙂

  2. Kathryn, some do seem evident but not HEA I admit. There are so many others too, I hope people share some new ones! Thanks for stopping by

  3. This is an excellent list! There are a few of these that I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Love this list! There are so many acronyms out there it’s hard to keep them straight:)

  5. Pingback: Top Picks Thursday 12-01-2011 « The Author Chronicles

  6. HA!!! Love the sign! (Think I gotta lift that photo.)
    Thanks for clearing some of these up for us. It’s about time someone thought to do this.

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