Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is:  Allegory

A figurative work in which a surface narrative carries a secondary, symbolic or metaphorical meaning. In The Faerie Queene, for example, Red Cross Knight is a heroic knight in the literal narrative, but also a figure representing Everyman in the Christian journey.  Many works contain allegories or are allegorical in part, but not many are entirely allegorical.

Published in: on January 5, 2011 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Simile

A common figure of speech that makes an explicit comparison between two things by using words such as like, as, than, appears, and seems: “A sip of Mrs. Cook’s coffee is like a punch in the stomach.” The effectiveness of this simile is created by the differences between the two things compared. There would be no simile if the comparison were stated this way: “Mrs. Cook’s coffee is as strong as the cafeteria’s coffee.” This is a literal translation because Mrs. Cook’s coffee is compared with something like it—another kind of coffee.

Be sure to check out my daily posts: Literary Lingo, Writing Picture Promps & Words of the Day!

Published in: on December 17, 2010 at 10:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Theme

The central meaning or dominant idea in a literary work. A theme provides a unifying point around which the plot, characters, setting, point of view, symbols, and other elements of a work are organized. It is important not to mistake the theme for the actual subject of the work; the theme refers to the abstract concept that is made concrete through the images, characterization, and action of the text. In nonfiction, however, the theme generally refers to the main topic of the discourse.

Published in: on December 16, 2010 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Mythological criticism

An approach to literature that seeks to identify what in a work creates deep universal responses in readers, by paying close attention to the hopes, fears, and expectations of entire cultures. Mythological critics (sometimes called archetypal critics) look for underlying, recurrent patterns in literature that reveal universal meanings and basic human experiences for readers regardless of when and where they live. These critics attempt to explain how archetypes (the characters, images, and themes that symbolically embody universal meanings and experiences) are embodied in literary works in order to make larger connections that explain a particular work’s lasting appeal. Mythological critics may specialize in areas such as classical literature, philology, anthropology, psychology, and cultural history, but they all emphasize the assumptions and values of various cultures.

Published in: on December 15, 2010 at 10:53 am  Comments (6)  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Melodrama

A term applied to any literary work that relies on implausible events and sensational action for its effect. The conflicts in melodramas typically arise out of plot rather than characterization; often a virtuous individual must somehow confront and overcome a wicked oppressor. Usually, a melodramatic story ends happily, with the protagonist defeating the antagonist at the last possible moment. Thus, melodramas entertain the reader or audience with exciting action while still conforming to a traditional sense of justice.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Query Trends

A must read blog, stop by when you a have chance. This post discusses one agents query trends.


Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Vanity press

A vanity press or vanity publisher is a publishing house that publishes books at the author’s expense.

Below is a thumbs down list according to Todd Rutherford’s Publishing Guru blog. Please note that I have not personally confirmed that each is a vanity publisher. Please contact them directly if you have any questions.

Author Solutions and any form thereof
Tate Publishing
Publish America
Xulon Press
Author House
Outskirts Press
Arbor Books
The Beckham Publications Group
Dorrance Publishing
Holy Fire Publishing
Inkwater Press
Ithica Press
Literary Architects
Pagefree Publishing
Pleasant Word
Publish to Go
Sirius Publications
Trafford Publishing
Wings Press
Arbor Books

West Bow Press
New World Media
American Book Publishing
Durban House Publishing
Harbor House
Sterling House
Helm Publishing
AEG Publishing Group
Archebooks Publishing
Whitmore Publishing
Royal Fireworks Press
Silk Label Books
Oaktree Press
Hillard and Harris
Infinity Publishing


Visit SFWA for more detailed descriptions and information on Vanity presses and so much more.

Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Unit breaks (As defined by Rachelle Gardner)

Sometimes royalty rates are set in a schedule that increases as the number of copies sold increases. The agent may try to negotiate the schedule so that the royalty rate increases faster, i.e. at a lower number of copies sold.

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Number of free books for author (As defined by Rachelle Gardner)

It’s always specified in the contract, and varies widely. I try to get the author a reasonable number of free copies, and I encourage using them for promotion.

Published in: on December 6, 2010 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

#YALITCHAT, What is it?

Occasionally there are open forums held on Twitter. If you’ve yet to join Twitter you should consider it.
Agents were on hand to answer questions. Below is a round-up of a recent forum on YA writing/publishing. I hope your able to find something useful here.

Random comments/suggestions made during the forum:

-critique groups (the right ones) are priceless. I made the plunge and have a much better product as a result

-CPs are also good for venting your frustration with rejections (privately), and helping you see things objectively

-Rejection is part of the journey. Dejection is a choice

-I can’t see why anyone would publish their rejections. It just makes the aspiring writer look like a douche.

-Don’t start your query with an amorphous soliloquy about why you want to be a writer. Start with a great one-two sentence hook.

-Have a CONCEPT and then a plot to expand that concept.

-Don’t send flour with query

-When people follow up after rejections (“BUT WHYYY?!”) I admit have to hold myself back from being insulting. Not easy

-An agent’s entire job is done on spec. We put the time in to our clients and hope to make $.

-don’t send cash with your query

-I do not know what I would do w/out the fellow writers I’ve “met” on twitter

Published in: on December 6, 2010 at 9:04 am  Leave a Comment