Today’s author speak is a post about the things authors say that makes readers think we’re nuts. We are but these words and phrases just reenforce that fact.
Author Speak: Come again. A what?
plot bunny = One of my favorites and I use it often. This term refers to a story idea that appears out of nowhere and won’t leave the author alone until they give in and write it. It’s called a bunny because story ideas like this multiply fast.
pantser = There are two types of writers. This is the first and it’s first because I am one. The term refers to an author writing by the seat of their pants. The author doesn’t know where the story is going until it gets there.
plotter = This is the second type of writer. This term refers to authors who outline every detail of the book (or the majority of the details) from word one Chapter One to “The End.” And yes, most times they use an actual outline.
sub or subbed = Short for submission or submitted. Refers to the manuscript that is ready to be handed over to an agent/editor for consideration or the act of having handed over the manuscript for consideration. Depends on context.
climax = In a sex scene, it means orgasm. When an author uses it in reference to a book (unless they are talking about a sex scene), it means the high point of the book — the pivotal moment.
edits = This can refer to content edits or line edits. It is a noun referring to the situation, not a verb. Content edits are the first set of edits an author receives from their editor. It tightens up the story, trims the “fat,” and fixes the grammar to the house style. Content edits can be a single round (editor hands it to the author, the author makes changes, and then sends them back) or several rounds (usually no more than three). Line edits are when a second editor goes through the story checking for anything the content editor and/or author might have missed.
ARC = Advanced Reading Copy – Always capitalized. I didn’t include this with acronyms because it goes with this set of words. As the name implies, it is a copy of the book in advance of its release. In the case of Big6, an ARC is usually a partially edited copy of the book meant to drum up enthusiasm for the coming title.
finals = No, the authors aren’t doing exams. This refers to the book’s finished format. For an e-author, it means the final book formats — PDF, HTML, ePub, LIT, etc.
house style = Most publishing houses conform to CMoS (the Chicago Manual of Style), which is a large encyclopedia of grammar. Sometimes CMoS has an either/or situation where either grammar or punctuation form is acceptable. A publishing house will choose, for consistencies sake, to use only one of the forms for all their books.