Category: Terminology

  • What does it mean to ‘Get Rudolphed’?

    What does it mean to ‘Get Rudolphed’?

    Getting Rudolphed is a concept from disability activism with notable crossover in children’s literature… unfortunately for children’s literature.

  • What is Aporia?

    What is Aporia?

    Aporia is a concept from philosophy but I’m talking about aporia when describing a literary (or rhetorical) device.

  • What Is Writing Voice?

    What Is Writing Voice?

    [W]hat many people call and value as “voice” in fiction is often the author manipulating grammatical rules and mechanisms in order to best support their story. The best editors & CEs I know read for voice and believe in/seek out internal consistency. Tracy Deonn This answer is in response to a tweet by Wesley Chu, […]

  • The Phantasia Spectrum And What It Means For Writers

    The Phantasia Spectrum And What It Means For Writers

    When reading a book, do you ‘see’ scenery in your imagination? If so, you are a phantasic person. Most people have minds which do this, which makes you one of the majority.

  • What is Realism in Literature?

    What is Realism in Literature?

    There is a spectrum of how real-world a story feels. Realism is a widely misunderstood term even within literary studies today. The terms are used differently depending on location. They’re also heavily classed and slightly gendered to boot. Humanities scholars spend a lot of time arguing about the meaning of realism.

  • What is a twice-told tale?

    What is a twice-told tale?

    Dictionary Definition of twice-told Twice-told officially means well-known from repeated telling. The word is used chiefly in the phrase “twice-told tale“. First Known Use The word first took off around the year 1597, in the meaning above. Various Meanings In Contemporary Use Twice-Told Tales is a short story collection in two volumes by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first volume came out in…

  • Whimsy: What does it mean for a book to be whimsical?

    Whimsy: What does it mean for a book to be whimsical?

    What are the common features of popular works commonly described as ‘whimsical’? A long while ago I swapped a middle grade critique with someone who had used ‘whimsical’ in the title of their work, yet the story itself did not feel whimsical. I started to wonder about the unspoken rules of ‘whimsical’. But could I…

  • What is literary modernism?

    What is literary modernism?

    I keep saying that Katherine Mansfield is a standout example of a Modernist short story writer, but what does ‘modernist’ really mean? “Make it new!”  EZRA POUND, 1934

  • What is mystery boxing?

    What is mystery boxing?

    Mystery boxing is a storytelling technique which has only been accepted by popular audiences since about the year 2000. Back in 2000, the technique didn’t yet have a name. A BRIEF HISTORY OF MYSTERY BOXING It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. James Thurber In 2007 J.J. Abrams gave a now-famous…

  • What is an illocutionary act?

    What is an illocutionary act?

    In The Office skit below, Michael Scott is attempting to imitate a Southern American accent for a game. He tries to sound Southern by saying “I do declare” at the end of each sentence. As Michael Scott is using it, “I do declare” is an exclamatory embellishment rather than an illocutionary act. The character of…

  • The Overview Effect In Fiction

    The Overview Effect In Fiction

    If you’re reading a picture book and you ever come across a page like this one, you might be seeing the overview effect as utilised by storytellers.

  • A Glossary of Genie and Djinn Words

    Abu Al-Jann — Father of the Jann. Aforetime — God said he created the djinn ‘aforetime’. Stories of the djinn predate the Quran. The concept of the djinn is ancient. Aladdin — Disney’s Aladdin is a presentation of a stereotypical genie as we view them in the West. Aladd in is only loosely based on…