Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Because I have a continued death wish, or really because I'm just too lazy to read a craft book and review it this week, I am continuing on with the GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT LITERARY TERMS, WHICH I WOULD FIND IN A CRAFT BOOK IF I COULD BRING MYSELF TO READ ONE AGAIN, WHICH I CAN NOT SO NO TRYING TO FORCE ME I AM NO LONGER IN A MFA PROGRAM SO JUST STOP IT RIGHT NOW. IT’S MY OWN LIFE DARN IT.

Thank you so much for commenting yesterday. It made me feel a lot better. I have a very rare syndrome called NOBODY WILL READ AND/OR COMMENT ON MY BLOGPOST PANIC OBSESSIVE DISORDER. So, thank you to those who commented and helped me through yesterday. I only had to take one dose of medication!



For many writers grammar is the evil Sith-lord that keeps them from joining the Force, or in this case The League of Writers who Actually Write (as opposed to the League of Writers who Only Talk/Think/Expound at Cocktail Parties or Airplanes About Their Book Ideas, Ideas that will Instantly Make them Zillionaires).

Grammar rules the realm of run-on sentences, sentence fragments, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, the whole big who vs whom fiasco.

Grammar rules this realm with a heavy light saber, a good dictionary, and a freshman language arts teacher’s vendetta against all things double negative. And believe you me, you don’t want to cross no freshman language arts teacher’s light saber.

Still, standard English verb forms are pretty.






This is the word writers make when they realize:

  1. Their Amazon.com ranking. (See above entry under A)
  2. That their completed picture book manuscript is indeed 850,978 words long.
  3. That their completed young adult novel manuscript is three words long.
  4. That their book has been reviewed by Kirkus.


Help me! Please, help me!


This is the phrase most writers use after they stop screaming, “Hawhkkschhiddurckkkkk.” They usually say these sentences to their agent, critique group, editor, mommy (because Mommy always loves them. Yes, she does. Oh, yes she does) or therapist. 

Note: Spouses, children, pets and significant others are not included on this list because after a writer says “Help me! Please, help me!” more than 26 times, spouses, children and significant others become immune.

This is my cat, Lyra's, typical reaction:

Lyra: I am so tired of the whining. Now, get me some food.


Imperative Mood

One of the three moods in English, according to Diane Hacker. She includes Indicative and Subjunctive as the two others. Obviously, Ms. Hacker has never been to my house where we have a whole array of moods including:


I hate writing mood

I’m so depressed I’m a writer mood

Oh my God, nobody will ever read my stuff mood

Wow! My sales rank on Amazon.com went up by 200,000 mood.

Crud. My sales rank on Amazon.com went down by 400,000 mood

Give me chocolate. Give me chocolate now mood.

Why do you have to be a writer, why can’t you be a normal mother mood.


Sorry. I digress.

According to Wikipedia, which is the masterful authority of all things and is always, ALWAYS, 100 percent right, the imperative mood “is formed simply by using the bare infinitive form of the verb. Be is the only verb whose infinitive form is different from the second-person present indicative form.”

They are so high-brow.

 Okay. According to me, the imperative mood is when the subject of the sentence is “you.”

 (Not specifically about you. Wow. You are just like my ex-husband, you think everything is about you, don’t you? Don’t you? Wait. That’s a line in an ancient Carly Simon song isn’t it?)

 Sorry. This is an emotionally draining entry.

 Examples of the imperative:


Could you please stop eating my manuscript, I’ve worked on it for five years without sleeping?

I know you say that you are merely critiquing my manuscript, but there are bite marks in it.

I beg you to cease and desist critiquing my manuscript.


A very important word when writing in first-person singular point of view. You’ve probably seen it before! I know I have. Wink. Wink. Nudge.

Internal Cheerleader

Unlike the internal editor who constantly derides and degrades the writer and his/her work, the internal cheerleader consistently urges the author forward, giving high praise and love. My internal cheerleader is Grover. My internal editor is John Wayne. This causes some nasty battles.

Grover: I, Grover, the furry, blue caped crusader will come save you, little writer person. You stay away from her fragile ego, Mr. Wayne.

John Wayne: You the one who better stay away from here, little blue guy. I'm warning ya for yar own good. Carrie's brain is mine.

The end result is usually this:

Grover: Please just make the pain stop.



What your verbs have to be when you are writing a romance novel.

This should not be confused with the word HAWT.

Hawt is what your nouns must be when you are writing a romance novel.


Like Scabulous, Word Twister, Soap Operas and the Internet, a very good way for authors to procrastinate, yet still be able to say with moral indignation when asked why they haven’t finished their revisions by a certain deadline, “I am still working. I am exploring the intricate patterns of words. This will depend my understanding of the basic elements of language and create whole new linguistic and morphological possibilities in my writing.”




Killing your darlings


This is a phrase that mentors at MFA programs, fellow critique group members and authors of craft books love to say.

It does not refer to your children or your pets. So do not kill anyone in the real world! No matter how much they hate your manuscript!

It also does not refer to the movie directed by Björne Larso

It refers to your favorite lines in the story, your favorite characters, the best word choices that sound really cool, but may not move the story forward.

The theory is that in those lines and passages, it is you the author coming through and not the character and of course nobody wants the author to show up in the book, because the author isn’t important. (Geesh. Didn’t the author write the book?) Oh, no… It’s all character, character, stay in the voice, blah, blah, blah.

Personally, I think that people tell you to kill your darlings because they are jealous of your darlings. Me? I say, ‘Let your darlings, live. Let your darlings, breathe!’ If you have to kill something, kill your semicolons. Or maybe murder all your capital letters like some poets and people who make up memoirs do.

Plus, don’t you get more money for longer books? Oh, is that a myth? Darn.



( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
Aug. 5th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Kill my favorite lines? Fine. Kill my favorite characters? Fine. But my semicolons? Never! *hugs semicolons* ;)

I think you've been in my brain, because I cycle through many of those moods you've listed, haha. Or maybe I'm in *your* brain. Ooh, I think I see Grover...
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
You and those semicolons. People are going to talk!

Oh, wait. I can see you and Grover hanging out in the right temporal lobe. Hey! No disco dancing, it gives me migranes. Can you guys just tango instead? Please?

(no subject) - edgyauthor - Aug. 5th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - carriejones - Aug. 5th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Haha I love the mood options, and they really are so varied.
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Hee. Hee. You know variety is the spice of something...
I need more spice.
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
Save your darlings!!!
Just, uhm.
Use them in a different manuscript or something.
Sounds like a good excuse for a new project to me... heh.
Funny stuff! I'm with Grover, totally.
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Liz, secret sister.
(no subject) - lizjonesbooks - Aug. 5th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Ohh, I like 'jumble' Heh, heh! although not sure my editor will *sigh*
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
I don't think my editor likes it either.
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
You have made me laugh until my eyes leak. Again.
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)

My whole goal is to make tall, Oklahoma men tear up.
(no subject) - sewedel - Aug. 5th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - carriejones - Aug. 6th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
My husband makes fun of my writing moods.

He must have hit that immune phase.

My mom seems to be immune, too.

That's not allowed, is it?
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
He has! Mom's aren't allowed to do that at all. Do I need to speak to her?
(no subject) - sookie06 - Aug. 5th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - carriejones - Aug. 6th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
As always, you have me giggling into my teacup at work. See what you've done to me?!

Diana Hacker, wise though she is, seems to have missed quite a few important moods. I'd also add to your list the "Why yes, I really do find vacuuming the under side of this couch a productive use of my time and I'm certainly not avoiding anything why do you ask" mood.
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
I will have to add it. It's a great mood. I have it often.
Aug. 5th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
My internal cheerleader has yet to show up for tryouts. I'm gonna have to fire the coach.
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Oh... Oh... That is SO funny.
Aug. 5th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
You need spice. I'm here to save the day--much like Grover, though, I fear. Vanquished by John Wayne. :)

You're making me laugh and NO, I AM NOT PROCRASTINATING ON MY CRITICAL THESIS. Really.


PS. I hate craft books, too.
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
There is nothing better than Ginger spice.

You know, I procrastinated on my CT ALL THE TIME.

Do you really hate craft books? I always felt like the only person at VC who hated them. I'm glad I'm in good company.
Aug. 5th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
I love this!!!
Your glossary is great ;)
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
Re: I love this!!!
Thanks. That is so nice of you to say.
Aug. 5th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
I thought I was missing something about grammar. *goes off muttering: "Light-sabers. It was definitely light-sabers..."*
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I'm sorry. I should have told you sooner.
Aug. 5th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Too funny, Carrie!

Lately, I've been feeling like a writer who is the League of Writers Who Want to be Writing But Keep Finding Things to Distract Them From Doing So.

I hate this league. I'm officially dropping out of it.

Aug. 6th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I've been feeling the same way. We should both defect from the league together.

Aug. 5th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so loving your glossary. Wish I could write the whole thing in soup!! :)
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
It would be so much better in soup.
Aug. 5th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
My internal cheerleader ran off with my internal quarterback about 3 years ago.
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Heee. Heee.

Oh, you are killing me.

That's just brilliant.

I hope they're having fun together and it isn't all "You take care of the baby tonight. I'm going to the bar" now.
(no subject) - latteya - Aug. 6th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - carriejones - Aug. 6th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - latteya - Aug. 6th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 6th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
::snorts tea:: I *so* needed to read this - thanks for making me laugh!!!
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
Oh, I am SO glad you did. YAY!
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

February 2012
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow