Key Writing Concepts You Should Know.

Have you mastered your writing concepts or terminology? Like many other disciplines, the writing world has a number of literary terms. These are concepts and phrases that you will come across, sooner or later. These terms are used in discussions, classifications, criticisms, novels, picture books etc.

In order to stay on top of your writing and not feel alienated  and lost, it is important to master these terms, which you cannot, as a writer, do without.

I have compiled a list for your reference. This is not a complete list or glossary but I have ensured the ones here are those you need most

Writing Concepts

  • Agent: An agent is that person who markets creative works to publishers. agents charge a commission of around 20-30 percent.

  • Antagonist: He is the main character or force in a work of fiction that tries to stop the protagonist from achieving his goals.


  • Autobiography: If I write my own life story, it is called autobiography. It is the writer's own life story.

  • Bibliography: This simply means a list of resources (journals, books magazines, people, websites), you consulted in the course of writing a book, article or paper.

  • Biography: This is the story of someone order than the writer.

  • Book Review: This is the summary of a book, including its critique. 

  • Characterisation: This means the author's expression of a character personally through the use of actions, dialogue, thought or commentary.

  • Climax: This is the moment of greatest intensity in a story.

  • Copyright: This simply means the ownership by an author of his or her own work. It is protected by copyright laws.

  • Cover Letter: This is a short letter accompanying a piece of work (manuscript, proposal etc) that introduces you, your work and your credit.

  • Advance: This is a percentage of money paid to the writer by a publisher prior to publication of the book.

  • Dialogue: The words spoken by the characters of a story.

  • Editor: A professional commissioned to edit articles for a publication.

  • Euphemism: A phrase used in place of something disagreeable or upsetting.

  • E-zine: Electronic magazine- a magazine published online.

  • Figures of Speech: These are ways of using language that deviate from the literal meaning of words in order to suggest additional meanings and effects.

  • Flash Fiction: This is a piece of fiction written in less than 500 words.

  • Genre: A type of category of writing, like mystery, science fiction, romance, fantasy etc.

  • Ghost Writer: One paid to write for someone else.

  • Hyperbole: This is simply deliberate exaggeration.

  • Imagery: A collection of images in  literary way used to evoke atmosphere or mood.

  • Irony: This is when a person, situation, statement or circumstance is not what it seems to be but the exact opposite.

  • Manuscript: The author's copy of a novel, non-fiction, article or screenplay.

  • Metaphor: A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlikely things without using like or as. e.g Life is a bitch.

  • Narrative: A collection of events that tell a story which may be true o not.

  • Newbie: A new writer.

  • Novel: A work of fiction 

  • Novella/novelette: Short works of fiction consisting of between 7500-40,000 words.

  • Onomatopoeia: The use of words that resemble the sound they denote.

  • Paradox: A statement that appears to be contradictory but on closer inspection turns out to make sense.

  • Personification: A form of writing where human characteristics are attributed  to none-human things.

  • Plagiarism: This means presenting another author's works or words as your own.

  • Plot: The main events of a story are referred to as the plot.

  • Protagonist: The main Character or hero of a play whose actions and goal drive the plots forwards.

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