Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Lookie! A secret decoder ring!
I'm sure it's been done somewhere else on the web, but so many folks said that THEY hadn't heard of a phrase or an expression that I used in my post on Writerese in Jumping Over Jargon. So here is your very own Secret Decoder Ring to divine the short-hand we romance writers use.
BICHOK - Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard (the only way to ever type THE END)
MC - Main character (Could or could not be a squint-eyed game show host -- but he has to have the proper GMC and backstory to pull it off.)
GMC - Goals, Motivation and Conflict. What does your character want out of life, why does he want it, and who's the bear with the flashlight in his way?
HEA - Happily Ever After -- because, dadgummit, we don't always get that in real life, but we're the boss of this world.
HFN - Happy For Now -- because we want the fairy tale, but we're pragmatic.
Backstory - what happened before Chapter One, i.e., the Hero's dog died, his house burned down and he got fired for doing the right thing. Then he meets the heroine, and bam, does life EVER get complicated.
RUE - Resist The Urge To Explain -- in which we remember we don't have to tell ALL about how the Hero's dog died.
Show, don't tell -- in which we remember to have our hero turn a vivid green, his eyes go red, and his muscles suddenly split his jeans and shirt off rather than have him mumble, "I am so angry. I am so angry. You wouldn't like me when I get angry."
Synop - Short for synopsis, an instrument of torture designed by agents and editors in a rarely publicized secret meeting as a method to separate the wheat from the chaff. They define it as a short (1-2 pp) or medium (5-8 pp) or long (10-25 pp) summary of your book. No pressure.
Partial - the first three chaps and a synop.
Chap - Chapter. B/c by this time, you're too tired to type it all out.
BM or BBM - contrary to popular belief, nothing to do with bathrooms or diapers, but instead the Big Black Moment where the boy royally screws up and loses the girl or the girl royally screws up and loses the boy. All hope is gone. Hankies are required.
H/h - shorthand for Hero and heroine, or the boy and the girl in "boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back." I know. We romance writers are secretly sexist, because everybody knows that heroine should get the BIG H.
TSTL - Too Stupid To Live - a modifier used to describe the dumb thing the h does because you REALLY need her alone in the basement for the serial killer to attack her so that the H can come and rescue her b/c this is how they get over their BBM. (The H and the h. Not the serial killer. After the H gets hold of him, Mr. Serial Killer is having a totally different kind of BM.)
Organic to the Plot - which means that if you've created an h who is a prima donna ballerina in your romantic suspense, then she better be using some of those emboités and fouetté turns and grand jetés to take down the bad guy, not suddenly develop a black belt in karate.
All rightie, then, what have I missed? What abbreviations/terms/jargon should I add to the list?