Lay People

Are you ever talking writing to someone and you say something and they look at you like you’re talking a foreign language? Usually it’s acronyms like POV and GMC that get them, sometimes more specialized terms like ConUS and IAD, if you’re writing that kind of thing.

Just this past week I’ve found myself spelling out what a chapter is (RWA, not book). What the Golden Heart is.

Every job has its own specialized vocabulary, I guess, (though some of the teacher vocabulary still escapes me after 17 years). We’re around it so much that it slips into our speaking, then we end up having to explain what a query letter is, or the difference between single title and category.

My friend Robyn DeHart wrote this great article about terms. Maybe I should just print it out and pass it around.

Romance Vocabulary

What things do you find yourself explaining to lay people about writing?

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Stacy Dawn said...

I just wave if off and try another route. When I have to explain everything, it takes the fun out of the conversation.

Unknown said...

At my day job we have several abbreviations. One being POC (% of completion). While talking to my boss about a POC contract I kept calling it "You know that POV contract." He kept looking at me like I had two heads.

Toni Anderson said...

I have to explain when I get my wip out :)

Trish Milburn said...

I don't think I have to explain what terms are so much as bigger things like why the Golden Heart is a big deal, just how big the National Conference is, why I'm still not published after all these years. For those outside the industry, there's the misconception that it's easy to "write those little books". And then there's also the trying to explain that romances are just "all sex, all the time."

Anonymous said...

I have to explain pretty much everything. At least at work, most of my fellow teachers have an inkling of what it's about---their biggest question is usually how did I do it? They would like to write, but haven't.


MJFredrick said...

LOL on getting the wip out and the POV contract!

I'm trying to think of what I was talking about the other day and I used cop-speak. People just stared at me, like how did I know that. Um, research?

Michele said...

I liked this post.
I tried to connect to the second link, but it wouldn't let me. Said "page not found".
Robyns site , however, was wonderful.
Thanks for pointing me that way.

MJFredrick said...

I can't figure out the problem with the second link :( It works outside the blog, but not within. Huh. You can try, then go to newsletter, and it's the second article.

Michele said...



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