The Five Most Commonly Used Writerly Abbreviations (that make me want to barf my cookies into a plastic bag)

Good evening, Cyberspace!

Today I am here–in my full pixie glory–with a deliciously spontaneous smudge for you all!

Because who am I if I am not both delicious and spontaneous?

my soul is made of cookie crumbles. obviously I am delicious.

Now, it has been a constant thought brewing in the back of my marshmallow mind that there is a remarkably wonderful community of writer-bloggers out there in the world–some of which I have had the amazing opportunity to communicate with through my own smol blog–and it finally occurred to me that there are two things in the bloggerly world that never seem to be addressed:

  1. There is absolutely no name for the writer-blogging community, which is–if you ask me–severely lame-o. (book bloggers have a name, for pineapple’s sake. WHY SHAN’T WE???)
  2. The abbreviations that writers use in comment sections, actual posts, twitter, Instagram, real-life converstations, etc. are UTTERLY CONFUSING AND MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to the common mortal. Or even me. And I’m a writer. (you know. in case you didn’t already know this.)

But seriously. When I was new to the writer-blogger (WE SERIOUSLY NEED A NAME, GUYS) community, I was severely confused by all of the strange abbreviations being hurtled at my face like a freshly buttered bagel.

that made no sense and I am keeping it

And I’ll be brutally honest here–most of these (with a few minor exceptions) continued to confuzzle my brain until I finally gave in and asked my very knowledgeable and arrogant friend known as The Internet.

And if these strange little abbreviations confused me (a writer [in case you forgot in the past two seconds]), then I can only imagine what they are doing to the fluffy little minds of non-writers.

Although, if you’re not a writer, I’m not exactly sure why you’d be reading this blog as all I talk about is writing and reading and writing and paper. But hey. Perhaps you’re here for the cookies and sarcasm. If this is the case, you may carry on undisturbed, my good sir.

Anyway, today I shall be compiling a list for you (shocking, I know) of all the strange and confusing abbreviations that I have stumbled across in both my writing and blogging careers.

And to those of you who are currently suffering under the extreme amount of embarrassment that I felt whilst not knowing what these strange little jumble of letters mean when you’re supposed to be a writer–this list is for you.

Believe me. I know from personal experience how terrifying it is to read something that is obviously writing-related, but you just let your bulging eyes skim over it again and again and it makes absolutely no sense to the point where you really just want to ask “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????”, but you don’t want to seem like an idiot, so you just sit there in front of your screen, blinking at the word that can’t possibly be a real word and suffering a horrible death of introvertedness and pain.

And so, in order to save both you and your dignity from this most treacherous fate, here is my list of writerly abbreviations that make absolutely no sense whatsoever–

The Five Most Commonly Used Writerly Abbreviations (that make me want to barf my cookies into a plastic bag)

— Abbreviation One – WIP —

Now, this one is actually sort of self-explanatory. WIP stands for ‘Work In Progress’. Pretty simple, right?

Of course it is. But where in the world did this even come from?

Is it supposed to be a pun on how painful writing is, like a thorned whip digging into our flesh?

Did someone just decide that they were going to whip their current manuscript around their head so that hopefully it would take off like a helicopter?

Who knows.

— Abbreviation Two – MS —

No. This does not stand for Multiple Sclerosis, which is actually something that my grandma had before she passed away a few years ago. At least, this is not what it means in the writerly world.

In the writerly world, this little number means ‘Manuscript‘.

Because this obviously makes perfect sense.

Perhaps some smarty-patooty person just wanted to shorten it to the first letter of each part of the word. However, if this be the case, could they please explain to me what a ‘Manu’ is, for now I am highly intrigued.

— Abbreviation Three – MC —

Ah, yes. Unlike our friend, Mr. MS up there, this particular abbreviation does not stand for ‘Manucrypt‘, which is a very unfortunate turn of events, if you ask me.

Instead, MC stands for ‘Main Character’, which is perhaps rather obvious to the mortal human. If someone is talking about how their MC has a severe chocolate addiction, or the fact that their MC does not know how to wear socks without first cracking their toe-knuckles, you can probably guess that MC stands for their main character.

However.

This is not where this particular abbreviation ends.

Oh no.

— Abbreviation Four – MMC —

Now, if MC stands for Main Character, then obviously MMC stands for the Main Main Character. 

Or the M&M Character.

Or the Mmmmm, this person smells like a cookie character.

BUT NO. Because these pathetic mortals refuse to seek my personal opinions on such delicate matters, we are left with an actual definition that is both uncreative and also quite grammatically incorrect.

The Male Main Character.

And before you roll your eyes at me and say, “Obviously it is MAIN MALE Character, Kenzie. Fix your grammar, please, you uncultured swine,” allow me to thrust this steaming crumpet at your face–

— Abbreviation Five – FMC —

And before your eyes light up with maniacal glee, my dear peasant, allow me to crush your bubble and say that this does not, in fact, stand for the Final Main Character, which would be quite convenient for books such as my own in which there can and will be only one survivor.

*initiate creepy chipmunk laughter*

Alas. Despite the fact that having an abbreviation for Final Main Character would help give my poor smol inventions a will to survive, this is not what FMC stands for.

Nor does it stand for FM Radio Station Character. (which obviously makes more sense than any other possibility)

No no, my dear bean. This particular abbreviation means Female Main Character, and, as you can see, this blows every theory surrounding Main Male Character out of the salty waters of my confused tears.

Because not only is my brain spinning from such a glaringly annoying flaw in syntax, but also because of how confusing all of these similar abbreviations are when sprinkled throughout an unnecessarily long paragraph.

And once the writer begins to go in depth about their characters’ lives–all while blatantly refusing to give us either A) the characters’ actual names, or B) a name placeholder in lieu of their actual names, every single ounce of normalcy and sanity that I have accumulated over the past 3,948 years gets tossed to the wind as the following nightmare is vomited across my page–

My FMC was trying to persuade my MMC to go get ice cream TASTYTREAT13, but my MMC doesn’t even like TASTYTREAT13, so my MMC told my FMC that they didn’t want to get TASTYTREAT13, and instead suggested to my FMC that they go get a pizza FOODSUBSTANCE63, but my FMC’s BFF thought that my MMC was being too pushy, so my FMC and their BFF&EGOI decided to brutally murder my MMC with a SHARPOBJECT99, and now my MMC is lying in a dumpster behind Coney Island BUILDING42 and I don’t know what to do because my MMC was supposed to bake my FMC a cake TASTYTREAT15 for her 23rd birthday, but now he’s dead, so I don’t know how to continue with my WIP MS MC MMC FMC ASDDLDKFJDLFDJSDDFLKDSFSDFLKDJF…”

Do you understand my pain? Do you?

DO YOU??

And why even have FMC‘s and MMC‘s in the first place? What happens if you decide to forego the annoying relationship stigma that is found in every single novel since Romeo and Juliet and choose instead to write a post-apocalyptic tale of two young boys who get abducted by aliens, only to discover that they were the actual aliens?

WHAT THEN?

The answer is simple. Obvious. Not confusing at all.

We begin numbering them.

Because having an MMC1, MMC2, MMC3, and FMC is obviously SO much easier than saying Timmy, Ichabod, Charles Benedict, and Martha the Intergalactic Saleswoman.

Obviously.

And thus, in conclusion, I have relinquished unto you the definitions and origins of some of the most complex abbreviations known to the mortal man. You now know how to decode a writer-blogger’s posts.

You’re welcome.

But before I go, I would like to leave you with a single question, my dear readers:

If we can look at the above example of the horror that is writerly abbreviations and actually have our brain meats understand such complex coding…THEN WHY IN THE WORLD CAN WE NOT HAVE A NAME FOR THE WRITER-BLOGGER COMMUNITY?



Well, that’s all I’ve got for today, Cyberspace! What do y’all think? Can you name any other writerly abbreviations that you’ve seen floating around in the Swirling Vortex of Infinite Insanity? (I pretty much exhausted my abbreviation vocabulary in this list, so GIVE ME MORE, PEASANTS!) Have you ever had to decode a complex paragraph full of the MC’s and WIP’S? Did you have fun decoding MINE? What do you think SHARPOBJECT99 is??? Have you eaten a biscuit in the past thirty days? Let us discuss ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below!

Until the seven suns rise again…

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

51 thoughts on “The Five Most Commonly Used Writerly Abbreviations (that make me want to barf my cookies into a plastic bag)

  1. For me it was coming across “TSTL” which apparently means “too stupid to live” which is what you occasionally get hit with in critiques… Not kidding, that particular critique was written in mostly acronyms I had never seen before (and I’m an online gamer too). I felt like the kid who forgot to bring their decoder ring to the clubhouse. Sad times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my word, SERIOUSLY??? I have never in all of my life heard of that one! Does that mean that a character is too stupid to still be surviving in the story??? I am highly intrigued with this abbreviation…

      And, yeah, I consider myself to be pretty up-to-date on acronyms and abbreviations on the Great and Terrible Cyberspace, but it seems like every now and then there are some that randomly spring into existence unannounced, but EVERYONE knows them, and I’m just some potato that is sitting here, massively confused. XD

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah apparently the reader thought the main characters in question were incredibly too stupid for survival but couldn’t be bothered to explain why. I was truly perplexed given how it was only the first half of the chapter so how could anyone come up with that conclusion if they haven’t read the rest of the story? That I don’t get at all.

        But yeah, even after surfing the net and playing MMOs for the last 15 years I’ve run into some really weird acronyms still.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh man, that’s just awful! Things like that really irk me. As a writer, it’s slightly depressing when a reader doesn’t trust you to clarify or solve issues LATER in the book, rather than in the right here and now. Or they don’t even give you a full chapter to prove your characters’ worth… D:

          I…don’t know what MMO is… XD

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh oops! MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online. So an MMORPG is a Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. It’s the only kind of MMO I play so as far as I’m concerned it’s the only kind that exists… but I know technically there are others. :P

            And yeah, I really don’t like the type of reader that expects to have everything spelled out in the first chapter. I’ve seen book reviews that have complained about slow openings. And these are what I consider classics. What’s the point of reading if you are not willing to sit down and take your time with the book? Personally I like to see character growth. That doesn’t happen if the character is already done maturing when the story begins.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ohhhhhh! That makes a lot more sense! Ah, yes! RPG! I think I knew that stood for Roleplaying game… I think…?

              EXACTLY!!! If you’re going to read a book, you need to start out with even a TINY amount of trust in the author! They probably know what they’re doing.

              Or, you know, maybe they don’t? I usually don’t know what I’m doing, haha! XD

              Oh yeah. Character growth is SUPER important to a story! Cut that out and you really don’t have much in the way of a book… XD

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh God! This was so much fun to read and at the same time informative as well.😄 I absolutely loved the article.
    I, luckily or unluckily, haven’t come across any such abbreviation as of now; in fact, not even the ones that you did mention here. But yes, I am exempted of the embarrassment I would have felt if were faced with these without knowing their expansions.😄
    And yes, had a (few) cookie 2-3 days back.😁

    Liked by 1 person

      • WIP actually makes sense though, I mean who wants to keep saying “work in progress,” over and over? But using fake names or real names for your characters is much less confusing than FMC 2 and MMC 857824787 :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Very true! I actually tend to use WIP on here quite a bit, especially when I don’t want to keep saying ‘MAH BOOK’ or “my current story” or other such titles. XD Fake names are much easier on the eyeballs and the brain meats. Take “Bella” for instance. It’s not her real name, but its not FMC2 either. XD

          Like

  3. OH
    MY
    GOSH
    YES
    FINALLy
    SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS MY PAIN
    I NEVER GET ANY OF THE ABBREVIATIONS THAT ANYONE USE AND THEY JUST THROW THEM AROUND LIKE COOKIE CRUMBS AND IM LIKE HI OVER HERE I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME
    yeah.
    The only ones I knew were MC and POV LOL and that was because a dear friend told me what they meant. much to my relief.
    BUT YES
    IT IS EXTREMELY ANNOYING AND CONFUSING

    Liked by 1 person

    • I UNDERSTAND THE PAIN, DEAR BEAN! I UNDERSTAND. Exactly! Us writerly folk use them ALL THE TIME, and we never seem to give any definitions for them??? Like people just EXPECT us to know what they’re talking about???

      Oh darn, I forgot POV!! *face palms* That is another pretty confusing one if you don’t speak writerly lingo… Ooh! That is so cool you had a knowledgeable friend to help you out! The only friend I had was Google… And he can be rather condescending sometimes… XD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. *dying* I just kinda pretend like I know what I’m doing but in reality I just google stuff a lot.

    Also, I want a story on Martha the intergalatic saleswoman. That must be a tough job. Does she sell insurance? I would be insured by Martha in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Saaaaaaaammeeee!!! Google is my life-saver. Need to know how much an average man can deadlift? Google it. Need to know what in the world a deadlift is?? Google it. Need to know what MC, MMC, FMC, WIP, MS, and ASDFGHJKL means? Google it.

      Actually, when writing this post, I really wanted to save that idea and write it at some point, haha! I might write it someday… I love the idea of her selling insurance…

      15 minutes could save you 15 light-years or more on space pod insurance…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. 1. Just when I’d got the hang of POV, I found people using POC?? and that took me a while. (If it was similar, like ‘Point of Contact’ or something, I’d have been [mostly] fine, but it isn’t.)
    2. ‘Martha’ + ‘intergalactic’ = my brain perking up with, “Doctor Who?”
    3. YES to a name for the writers’ side of the blogosphere. I tend to say “the writerly circles of the blogosphere” and that is too much of a mouthful.
    4. SHARPOBJECT99 is, obviously, a rusted pitchfork. But I don’t know what the previous 98 might have been.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yes. Somehow I had forgotten POV and POC when writing this. I can’t remember when I started seeing POC around, but that one threw me for a loop, as well.

      DOCTOR WHOOOOOOOOOOO! *fangirls for 3,000 years but is still alive because #timelord*

      It really is! I like your version better than the writer-blogger community, however, haha! But we REALLY just need a name!! ANY NAME!!! JUST GIVE US SOMETHING!!!!

      You…you actually got it right… *mind blown*

      Like

  6. I have reached the end of the post, and now it is time to giggle helplessly until I fall of the bed. I don’t remember being super confused about these in particular, mainly because I came across them in the official NaNo posts first, where Everything Is Explained, and my superpower is “being weirdly good at context”. But you’re funny. That freaking paragraph at the end, oh my gracious.

    SHARPOBJECT99 is obviously a pizza cutter. I don’t like to think about that. It brings back flashbacks from when I read Divergent and other kitchen utensils had a spotlight – ughhhhhhhhhhhhh

    I ate a cookie yesterday :) we can always count on you to keep up with our daily nutritional cookie intake, Kenzie. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSSSSSS!!! FALL OFF YOUR BED, SIR! FALL!!! I always knew that laughter had the potential to kill… MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      Yeah, I feel like I’m oddly good at context, but some of these were just WAY too weird for me to understand without consulting the Magnificent Google. XD BUT OOOOOOH! You have a SUPERPOWER??? I am SO jealous… I don’t know what my superpower would be if I had one…

      ACTUALLY, it’s a pitchfork… However, I believe that SHARPOBJECT57 would be a Pizza Cutter, as that’s down in the Pizza Utensils section… Okay, so I’ve read Divergent like at LEAST three times, and I’m struggling to remember when there was a pizza cutter in that book. XD #marshmallowbrain

      YESSSSS! I am the cookie mother. I make sure every little crumbling has eaten their cookies. (I actually typed biscuit, but everyone is calling them cookies, so apparently we are British today, and I am perfectly fine with this.) *flings cookies at you happily*

      Like

  7. Lol I have almost never heard any of these, but I have heard MC and WIP…Took me about an hour to figure them out because I thought it might be (a clue to where the treasure map is…not quite) a very interesting piece of information that I should store for future use. And when I figured it out, I was like………………………….. :'( :'( THERE’S NO TREASURE!! (well, not really, but kind of :P)

    The moment you said why not have a name for the writer-blogging community, I thought: SAP. You know, another abbreviation for people to boggle over. I have no idea why I thought of that, so I had to figure out what it meant, and now I got it. It means: Silly Abbreviation Problems…(not the greatest name for a blogging community, but…*whispers* I like it :D)

    AND I figured out what the SHARPOBJECT99 is (I’m doing well, aren’t I?)!!!! It’s a syringe! You know, in your post about good kinds of weapons? (And besides, then MMC can use it, if u no wut i mean :P)

    I haven’t eaten a cookie ever since…(gulp) um………..a long time ago. So…yeah. All my achievements are wasted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EXACTLY!!!! If there is no treasure involved in these silly little abbreviations, they are OBVIOUSLY not even worth discussing! Why do they even exist???? WHY????? *sobs for 3,000 years*

      I really like the word SAP… I want to keep it and pet it and smell it. Perhaps it stands for Sad Assassination Problems? Or…yeah, that’s all I can make out of those letters! I’m really off my game today, haha! XD *whispers* I like it too!

      Weeeellll…. That’s a wonderful guess, but you’re mistaking SHARPOBJECT99 for SHARPOBJECT107. Syringes are found over in the doctor’s utensil section, along with scalpels and other fun surgical things… (However, I greatly approve of MMC using a syringe…)

      WHAAAAAT???? You haven’t eaten a cookie in FOREVER????? *immediately flings cookies at your face* EAT IT! EAT IT!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol WHAT!!! I must have mistaken 99 for 107. Yeah, of course that’s it…I think…

        *while cramming said cookie into mouth as fast as possible* Oh, of course I’ve eaten a cookie in my lifetime (I think!). It’s just that…the last time I had one was a long time ago (UPDATE: I JUST HAD 2!!!! I am not unworthy of viewing this blog after all!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s a simple mix up. I do it all the time!! XD

          YESSSSSSS!!!!! You have eaten the cookies!!!! *hands you a badge* You are now an official member of the Smudged Thoughts community! 😂😂😂 Even though you already WERE…?? 😂 Well, at least you are the cookies!! It helps make things more official. XD

          Like

  8. I was familiar with all of these, but I myself only use MC and WIP. MMC and FMC only complicated things for me, and I rarely have any male POV’s (hehe), so they’re a little redundant. Plus, as you pointed out, it’s easier to just use their names.

    I wanted to offer an alternative to “writer-blogger”, but I’m drawing a blank. This requires more consideration.

    On a kind-of side note, I now want to steal Martha the Intergalactic Saleswoman. I stumbled upon a merchant starship when I sat down to write a short story for a prompt and now it’s trying to flesh itself out into a proper book. Martha would be a riot to toss into the mix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MC and WIP seem to be the most commonly-used around here, which seems about right, as I also use WIP excessively. XD (I think I’ve used MC before, but I might have just written it out as Main Character…) I actually love writing male POV’s? (UGH, THESE ABBREVIATIONS!!!! XD ) They’re more fun than the females’ sometimes, but usually only if it’s in third person… EXACTLY! Why can’t people just use their names??? That’s why these things HAVE names, after all! XD

      It really does… I tried coming up with one, as well, and I just keep drawing blanks. Perhaps this is why we still don’t have one???? XD

      Hahahaha! It looks as though Martha is a hit! I might end up writing this story sometime far off into the future, but currently it’s just a fantasy brewing in the back of my mind. I suppose if you’d like to borrow her, you can! XD

      Like

      • First of all, I posted that and cringed a little because it sounded like I wanted to snag Martha from you. I really hate how you can’t pick up the nuances of speech over a blog comment or text message. I might use Martha as inspiration, but I won’t be taking your character. Thanks for being gracious, though!

        I will keep thinking about a better term for “writer bloggers”. We need one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • OHHHHHHHHHHH! Haha, no no that’s perfectly fine!!! Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m ever going to write this story, so Martha might not ever make it into existence, haha!

          YES! We most definitely need one…

          Like

  9. Oh, my, I managed to know what all of these mean. XD
    I prefer saying Hero or Heroine rather than MMC or FMC. It sounds much better and is helpful when I haven’t thought of their names.
    Martha sounds great.
    I have had cookies sometime this month, so yay! Also, I have no idea what to call writing blogs other than writing blogs. Author blogs? But that’s different from people starting the writing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hero and Heroine are MUCH better than MMC or FMC. Like, seriously. It’s a much simpler (and much cooler sounding [I mean, let’s be honest]) than saying MMC or FMC, and it makes me think of heroes with capes. win-win.

      Doesn’t she? I keep getting these awesome ideas for her, and it’s making me want to write this story sooner rather than later, haha! I’ve never really done a story with two young boys as the protagonists, but I think this might be my first…

      YES! I am appeased by your cookie intake! It really is the deepest conundrum. We–the namers of all named things–have no name for ourselves… *mindblown*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I usually imagine medieval adventurers! I suppose one reason to use FMC or MMC is if you’re writing a story about not-heroic people, whether they are actually evil/anti-hero, or if they’re normal people, maybe?

        Haha, enjoy the brewing ideas!
        One of my stories starts off with the protagonists as young boys. But there are no aliens.

        I don’t know, I think I’ve always thought of these blogs as writing blogs. It’s a simple label, but it makes sense. Now, if we really want a COOL, Mysterious label… Wordsmith Blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah!!! I absolutely love medieval time knight-in-shining-armor stories, but I never know enough about the era to actually write them. I suppose that’s what research is for, though, right? XD But then wouldn’t they be called a villain or villainess? I love the word villainess… It sounds so…evil. XD

          Awwww! No aliens???? But ooh! I love your stories!!! I cannot wait for more Miranda’s Madness. I think I’m caught up on everything, right?

          OH MY WORD!!!! We are the Wordsmithees!!!!! This…this is amazing. I absolutely love this…

          Like

  10. WROGGERS.

    MS is the only one of those abbreviations I actually like or use. Generally, I just don’t like abbreviations??? THEY SEEM LAZY AND SLOPPY TO ME… So I spell everything out, painstakingly…

    I knew all of them except… MMC????? Seriously??? FMC?????? And you’re right – it SHOULD be Main Male Character, not Male Main Character. That’s messed up.

    WHAT IS OUR WORLD COMING TO????

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my word, I am literally in LOVE with Wroggers!!! It is tied right up there with Jethan’s Wordsmiths!!!! These are just…they’re amazing.

      I usually use WIP instead of MS… I don’t know why, but I like saying WIP… XD

      I KNOW!!!! They are so weird!!! I don’t even know why they exist?? They really threw me for a loop the first time I saw them. I think I probably just stared blankly at my screen until my eyes shriveled into mutant mush.

      I DON’T KNOW!!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.

      Like

  11. LOOOOOOOVED your ending on this post! And I came here to figure out FMC…yikes. And yes, there needs to be a name for the writing blogging community besides “writing bloggers” which is horribly redundant.

    Glad to find your site!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eep! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed this post–and also…FMC and MMC STILL ANNOY ME TO THIS DAY, I CANNOT. XD But alas. I guess we need to start getting used to them. *stabs toe with plastic spork*

      Oh, I wholeheartedly agree! It’s been years and we still don’t have a name??? You’d think a group of creatives could easily whip something up, but apparently we’re all too focused on procrastination. XD

      Meep, thank you SO much!! I’m so glad you stopped by!

      Like

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