Monday, July 11, 2011

Say What?

Writers, like any other group of people who share a profession or a passion, have their own language.  An non-writer can often have that glazed-eye look about them when caught in a group of writers.  We do tend to let those words and acronymns roll off our tongues without thinking about who might be wondering what in the world we're talking about.  Even new writers who are learning the jargon still sometimes have to swallow their pride and ask what something means.  There's no reason to be embarrassed.  We were all new to it at one time, and have all felt totally lost at times.

Instead of trying to list some of the more common terms, it might be better to tackle them a few at a time.  Let's start with three of the more common acronyms:  GMC, POV, and WIP.

No, it has nothing to do with General Motors.  In the world of stringing words together to build a story, it stands for Goal, Motivation, and Conflict.  It's been made famous in our little world by writer, publisher, speaker (and more), Debra Dixon.  GMC is what we (try) to use when creating our characters and planning/plotting a book that will make readers never want to put it down.  If you can have only one book in your writing library, this needs to be it.  Because GMC is crucial when writing, we'll take a closer look at it down the road.

Heaven forbid that we would say something, instead of condensing it into something smaller that really isn't shorter when said.  POV simply stands for Point Of View. Every reader understands POV, they just don't know what it's called or how it's used.  POV can be described as being in the mind of a character.  Hearing, feeling, touching, tasting, smelling, thinking, speaking, moving as that one fictional person. It's definitely important and, again, we'll delve deeper later.

This is an easy one and is pretty much self-explanatory.  Work In Progress.  It's what a writer is currently working on.  It can be put aside while another piece of work becomes the WIP, and then can be brought out again, to take center stage in the writer's writing life.

Not bad for a start.  The three bits of jargon are among some of the most often used, so if you're a new writer, find a way to work them into a conversation with other writer friends to show that you're one of them.  Or even better, use them (sparingly) while talking to non-writer friends.  Will they ask what these new words mean?  Will they stare, befuddled, while you continue to talk?  Whatever you do, start learning all you can about GMC and POV, while working on your WIP.  You'll be glad you did!

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