Tag Archives: MG

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

Write a YA Novel in 9 Months: Tips from the masters

As I near the end of my Write a YA Novel in 9 Months class led by authors Jonathan Maberry and Marie Lamba, I thought I’d share you with what I’ve learned along the way. I’ve met a great bunch of writers across genres in this class and I am happy to report I finished my book in 7 months!

Here is part 1 of techniques and tips I’ve learned
on writing for the YA or MG market.

Getting started. Before you write…

Recent trends in writing for YA/MG audience
MG horror is hot now, especially 2-4 books deals in a series running about 40K words each. Think Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book or R.L. Stein books.
Books are released in e-book first, then if good show doing a print run.
YA e-anthologies are hot! Allows kids to read a story in class and review real time vs. a novel. (Adult anthologies more for small press). Check out Campfire Weenies tales on this.
Pitching is on now year round to agents,  no usual slow times in August and after Thanksgiving. Agents continue to seek next best book.

Genres (YA = Young Adult MG = Middle Grade)
Remember kids ‘read up’
Younger YA – 12-15
Older YA – 15 -17
MG – 8-12

Outline your book
Write a chapter outline with bullet points for each chapter.
Create doc for revision notes so you can fast draft without stopping to edit.
Write a preliminary synopsis of 1-3 pages of prose, single spaced. This is where you talk yourself through the plot. This isn’t the finished synopsis so don’t worry, just for plotting purposes.
Write book logline, that 1 sentence pitch.
TIP: Write 1st and last chapter first. Write to the end of the book so you know direction to go in.

Promo copy
Write back book jacket. Review similar books to get an idea.
Write 1 paragraph description of possible next 2 books in the series.
Create submission list (sub list) of a dozen books that are similar to yours. This is where your book would fit on a bookshelf. Books must be recent successes and in print and in age range to your book. Check out LibraryThing for authors in your genre where you can search by genre/sub genres.

Critique Partner
Find a partner who writes similar to you and once you’ve written the first 25 pages, swap out with each other

Check out verlakay.com message boards, a place for children’s writers and illustrators to gather and share information, help each other and have fun while learning the business of writing and illustrating for children.
Books – Rotten Rejections, 20 Master Plots and Exercises, Writing Treatments that Sell.

Now start writing!

More tips to write a YA novel from the masters Part 2


Filed under Writing Techniques, Young Adult