The AU in the WIP – Writer Speak

NaNoWriMo is starting on November 1 and Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets are already buzzing with excitement!

But many first-time writers often get confused when they join online writing groups and forums. So many writers use abbreviations to talk about their work that the uninitiated sometimes just stare at a tweet and decide they have a better shot at deciphering hieroglyphs without the Rosetta Stone.

“The FMC in my AU WiP is a total BAMF!”

Er… your what, now?

So I’ve put together a little list of the most common terms and abbreviations you might see and hear when you’ve got writing buddies. The lovely FB NaNoers helped as well.


AU – Alternate Universe Often found in fanfiction, but denotes any sort of altered reality.

WiP – Work in Progress

FMC – Female Main Character

MMC – Male Main Character

MC – Main Character yes, there’s a pattern…

BG – Bad Guy

BBG – Big Bad Guy In case there is someone your BG answers to

WC – Word Count 

PH – Plot Hole

PoS – Project on Standby 

PLI – Primary Love Interest

LI – Love Interest

PRO – Protagonist

ANT – Antagonist

UEG – Ultimate End Goal

BAMF – Bad-Ass Mother F***er This can be male or female, they just really kick butt

HEA – Happily Ever After

TSTL – Too Stupid To Live

ISO – In Search Of

SC – Secondary Character

H/C – Hurt/Comfort

POV – Point of View

PWP – Plot? What Plot? (in Erotica, it can also mean Porn Without Plot)

CDS – Character Death Scene

XO – Crossover (between different books/shows/movies, usually a term in fanfiction)


The NaNo peeps also added a few abbreviations for themselves, like:

INMC – I Need More Coffee

EIGTS – Editing Is Going To Suck

IROMS – Idiot Reading Over My Shoulder (to be used in public)

BM – Because Magic

BS – Because Science (BM & BS can be used to explain pretty much everything)

… and one person insisted I also add TMPODHOWDAGE –  Talking Maniacal Potato Of Doom Hellbent On World Domination And Galatic Enslavement because apparently every story needs one of those.

With that description, all I can think of is Strax, tough….

Strax, Doctor Who, Sontaran, Snowmen, Eleven,
Sontaran Strax from BBC’s Doctor Who


This is by no means an exhaustive list. Do you have any abbreviations to add? Let me know in the comments! 🙂






3 thoughts on “The AU in the WIP – Writer Speak”

  1. A term I don’t see on here is the ever present Plot Bunny – a cute new idea that tries to get you to chase it. While these usually are spawned in the middle of writing something, and they try to get the author to abandon their current project because “oh, this will be a really quick idea to flesh out. I’ll be back to my NaNoNovel in no time!” DON’T DO IT. These stray plots are worse than Alice’s White Rabbit for leading you down strange holes and into places where card-deck queens want to cut your head off. In fact, I’m certain that Carroll was only documenting an actual encounter with a plot bunny. If it is TOO soft and cuddly, write a paragraph summary in your notbook, then get back to writing!


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