Questions tagged [terminology]

This tag should be used for questions about common terminology related to the craft writing or how terminology is handled in writing. Do not use this tag to ask about terminology of specific topics that are not related to the craft of writing. In these cases you might want to check out EnglishLanguage&Usage.StackExchange and their single-word-requests tag.

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Is there a term for the underlying concept that must be accepted for the story to work?

Is there a term/trope for the sort of underlying concept of a story, which itself is most likely unrealistic, but which we must accept without explanation, proof or tie back to real-life, for the ...
komodosp's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
233 views

Is the replacement of "slaves" with "enslaved peoples" in common usage now?

I wrote a passage about slavery, with a target audience of 12-13-year old students. Though for young students, I try to keep conventions highly academic, so students are exposed to real conventions ...
Village's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
749 views

Proper capitalization of the term "software as a service"

I need to use the term "software as a service", which is abbreviated as SaaS. (There are other ancillary terms as well like Platform as a Service, Functions as a Service, Infrastructure as a ...
pchittum's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a word for something that is structured like a parody, but utilizes an idealized or improved version of the original context?

(Edit: title frames the question better thanks to @TheRubberDuck) This has been bugging me for a while; enough to join this wonderful community - thanks for any help you can offer! Keep in mind ...
Wojtek's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a term for a redundant phrase in a movie's script added purely to over-explain to the audience what's occurring?

I was watching Death on the Nile this morning, and after a murder takes place we the audience see that a gun is tossed into the river over the rail of a boat. When the body is discovered, the ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

What is the term meaning calling a character by a described trait? [duplicate]

What is the technique called when a writer describes a character and from there forward refers to that character by one of their salient traits? For example, "The man across from her took in the ...
Mark's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
378 views

Name for characters not physically in a story

Is there a technical name for a character that is mentioned by name but is never present in a story? For example, a parent who is discussed by their children and still alive but has no screen time ...
Adam Carter's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
46 views

Need a concise term for 'Dates to accept bookings within'

I maintain and operate an online bookings platform for all kinds of events and activities. Some of these events can span multiple dates and so require that customers completing a booking must select ...
John Rix's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
186 views

The meaning of "flat character"

The way I understand it, the term flat character is used for a character that is both two-dimensional and has a flat character arc. Here, a two-dimensional character is character that shows a little, ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
344 views

What is the “RIOT” paragraph writing formula?

In my high school, a teacher had an acronym which was a guideline for writing an entry paragraph to an essay. The acronym was “RIOT”. Does anyone know what these letters stand for and can they locate ...
Julius H.'s user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
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Denouement vs Resolution

What is the difference between a denouement and a resolution? Are they synonymous?
Theodore Soriano's user avatar
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3 answers
78 views

Need help with the correct wording: Platoon? Squad? Or something else? [closed]

I wrote a short story about a 6 men on a rescue mission to save a family during WWII. I originally called them a "platoon" and wrote about the main characters "platoon mates"; ...
Josh C. Jones's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
438 views

What is the correct term for a "thesis statement" for individual body paragraphs?

Suppose a paper is organized with a thesis statement found in the introduction paragraph. Then, each body paragraph contains examples and details that support the thesis statement. The first sentence ...
Village's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
87 views

What do you call the technique of using idioms to form new idioms to allude to something?

On English Language Learners there was a question about the lyrics "Wake me up inside" regarding the grammatical correctness and meaning of the words. I am wondering if there is a name for ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
749 views

Term to describe where the first word of a sentence rhymes with the last word of the same sentence?

Is there an official term to describe a rhyming technique where the first word of a sentence rhymes with the last word of the same sentence? For example, lines such as Brian almost got eaten by a ...
brian's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
57 views

Is there another term for "conflict of interest" or a very similar term?

I've written a short story in which a prosecutor in a case gets romantically involved with a witness for the prosecution, and is subsequently investigated due to the fact that he is in a relationship ...
Jami Johns's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
135 views

Should I use "people" for non-human creatures with humane mannerisms?

First off, my question is not this question. I am asking about a creature resembling a human and not a bug. Also, I put this question on World-Building SE and it was recommended I post it here, but if ...
AnnWriter19's user avatar
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5 answers
85 views

Terminology: writer's block

Does the term "writer's block" refer to the condition in which the author not having anything to write, or has the material but unable to put it in words in the way he wants; or both?
blackened's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is there a phrase that means "a character suddenly gets a lot of development right before they die"?

If I remember correctly, there is a phrase meaning "a character suddenly gets a lot of development right before they die". However I have forgotten the name and can't find it. Perhaps I am ...
Matthew's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the authority on literary terms and phrases

I'm thinking of terms like Character Development, Character Progression, Character Growth, Character Regression, Narrative Arc, Main Character, Protagonist, Supporting Cast, Side Character, ...
Assimilater's user avatar
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2 answers
56 views

Translate or keep terms with diverse meanings?

I struggle with a passage in a text that I gave in three translations. In one, the original word is kept, but as it's ancient Greek and I don't speak Greek I had to look it up. In the other two ...
Trish's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
296 views

What makes something "anime"?

I read the following question on WorldBuilding.SE last week: What early middle ages weapons would suit an extremely strong child? I thought the premise was interesting, but I noticed a comment that ...
scohe001's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
80 views

Which term is more appropriate and mainstream in fiction: made up proper nouns or invented proper nouns?

I am working with a beginner writer to help typeset their book for self-publishing. They would like to include an appendix which would explain the pronunciation of the numerous proper nouns that they ...
SuperAl's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
191 views

What is the literary device/technique called where something unusual is presented so it seems natural?

This recent question, What is the literary device/technique called where something familiar is presented so it seems foreign?, reminded me of the opposite situation, where an unusual or scary event ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is another word for "character-building"? [closed]

I want to say that the author uses Character A's "character development" to explore Character B. In other words, the author builds on the personality of A to exemplify the nature of B. What is ...
BlueMagic1923's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
522 views

Technical term for written dialogue that mimics the speaker's "sound"?

I'm wondering if there's a technical writing term for when an author uses purposefully misspelled words to mimic the sound of the speaker? This has the effect of "forcing" the reader to hear the ...
Will's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
404 views

Does the use of a new concept require a prior definition?

In my novel I have written this line; At your deepest core the buddha nature is waiting quietly for you. Now Buddha-nature is a complex concept to understand. If the reader is not savvy about ...
The White Cloud's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

What's the name of this type of "literary work"?

Character1: dialogue Character2: *action* Character1: ... Character1: dialogue In the context of fanfiction, they're sometimes referred to as drabbles. But the official definition of drabbles is 100-...
Kal's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
168 views

Term for future-tense technique that isn't exactly foreshadowing

Not sure if this has a name, but I think it's best demonstrated with some examples I've seen: Nadia and her family both considered her thereafter to be without a family, something all of them, all ...
purpleladydragons's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
357 views

What's a moment that's more impactful on a reread called?

I've met a few of these but the most recent instance was two characters discussing buying a third character a drink when they all got home, on the first reading this is a simple moment of comradery ...
Ash's user avatar
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19 votes
5 answers
5k views

Term for a character that only exists to be talked to

I just saw a two-person play where one character did the majority of the talking and the other seemed to exist only to give the other character someone to talk to. I've seen this happen in books and ...
David K's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
4k views

Is there a prefix for 'old'? [closed]

I am writing a sci-fi novel in which humanity has struggled to survive in colonies throughout the solar system after the Earth becomes uninhabitable. I am writing a passage about a main character's ...
TitaniumTurtle's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a term for this?

I'll explain my question by citing what was done on the TV show Dexter. Halfway through an episode (Season 4, episode 4, 'All in the Family') two established characters (one of them being Deborah) ...
Bob516's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
414 views

When should we redefine a term that's used in a different way in the book we're writing?

Let's say I am writing a fantasy book where magic users doesn't use something called "magic", but use something called "Hermetic". Where in the book should we redefine (give a new definition to the ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
70 views

Terminology in sociology & statistics

What is the word commonly used in statistics when the thing that you want to measure cannot be (or was not) measured directly, so you assume that another thing that can be (or was) measured gives an ...
GAS4's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
51 views

What is this device of using quotes to imply that a character represents or symbolizes someone else?

In the movie Prometheus, David 8 quotes a passage from "Paradise Lost" said by Lucifer. He tells Walter, Serve in Heaven or reign in Hell. One of the crew mate even insinuates he's the devil: ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
857 views

What do you call a fact that doesn't match the settings? [closed]

I am not sure what you call them exactly. I don't think it's a plot hole, because it's not related to the story itself. Let me give you an example: Let's say your novel is set in Italy, but everyone ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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18 votes
7 answers
3k views

Are there any general rules or guidelines for using neologism or newly coined word (Cutease)?

Recently, I came across a beautiful word 'Cutease', defined on Urban dictionary as: Cute, sassy, saucy and cheeky. ends up being a tease. I found this word on one of the social networks and I loved ...
CaWo's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is a term for groups of stanzas within a poem?

Many free verse poems have "sections" or "divisions" within them that may be numbered or set off by a group of three marks. I'm wondering if there's a term for these sections. In ...
jaycer's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
294 views

What's the name of the trope that means fae can't cross over unless a human crosses over first?

There's a trope I remember, having a denizen of the fae realm only be able to cross over to the human world once a human has first crossed over to their world. Though I remember seeing it multiple ...
Piomicron's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is "Buying Back My Book"?

I have read on a few different author blogs, as well as some answers here I think, references to the author needing to "buy back" rights to their books. Having not yet explored all these options, ...
James McLellan's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
15k views

Is there a term for a narrative where you are speaking to the reader?

I know that a first-person narrative is written from the point of view of the narrator, relaying events from their own point of view using the first person (i.e. I or we, etc). Is there a name/term ...
ƬƦƖƝƛ's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
249 views

Is there a name for a narrative that involves parallel exposition of the characters' backstories?

One of the hallmark features of the television show Lost was the way in which each character's backstory was rendered. The narrative started out in present day and depicted characters making certain ...
John Wu's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How Can You Use "In Medias Res" To Beautify Your Amazing Masterpiece? [closed]

How do you write out the second build up without killing the essence of the masterpiece? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Medias Res?
Phantom's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
675 views

What is the opposite of self-publishing?

Once, when your book was "published", it was clear that you meant that it had been reviewed and accepted by a publisher and was now being distributed through book stores. Today, when you talk about ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
180 views

Is there a term for 'The Secret Garden' and similar works? [closed]

For some time now I've been curious about how to classify a small group of literary works. They include The Secret Garden, Polyanna, and to a lesser extent Anne of Green Gables. I'm sure there are ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
359 views

Is there a term for plot twists that rely on information not yet available to the audience?

My understanding is that plot twists, whether they're in the protagonist's favour or not, are bad writing if they could not have been seen as plausible with prior information (in case this is relevant,...
BCLC's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
461 views

What is the difference between "accurate" information in a document and "believable" information?

As part of some research I am doing on measuring documentation quality, I have come across the terms "accurate" and "believable" as two separate dimensions of information quality. But the differences ...
Yoel's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
899 views

Alternatives better to the binary "0b..." format?

In our documentation, we write binary numbers like this: 1010 But we write hexadecimal numbers like this: 0xABAB Now, according to the GCC compiler conventions: Numbers are normally written in ...
Yoel's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
82 views

Terminology question - "if-else" or "if/else"?

Are they "if-else statements" or are they "if/else statements"? I'm partial to the latter, but I can see the logic of the former - both "if" and "else" are acting as a unit modifier for the noun "...
Yoel's user avatar
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