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  • Donna Conger
    Glossary of Publishing Terms Back Story — events that occurred before the start of the book. Category Romance — romance written within a set of parameters
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2004
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      Glossary of Publishing Terms

      Back Story — events that occurred before the start of the book.

      Category Romance — romance written within a set of parameters that
      establish a set style for tone, page length, sensuality level, and
      the requisite happy ending. Examples include Harlequin Presents,
      Silhouette Desire, and Harlequin Historicals.

      Characterization — character traits and actions that define the
      people in a novel.

      Conflict — the barrier that prevents the hero and heroine from
      falling in love early on in a novel. Internal conflict refers to
      emotional issues within the protagonists, such as fear of commitment,
      abandonment, failure of past relationships, etc. External conflict
      refers to "outside" barriers that block the path to love, such as
      feuding families, misunderstandings, prior romantic commitments, etc.

      Copy Editor — person responsible for correcting errors within a
      manuscript, such as grammar, spelling, and consistency, querying the
      editor and author with problems to solve, and preparing a style sheet
      of names, places, etc.

      Critique — (manuscript critique) an editorial assessment of a
      manuscript. It includes an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses
      of the story, including pacing, writing style, voice, internal and
      external conflict, characterization, and romance. As each critique is
      personal, one critique may focus more on pacing, while another
      critique may focus more on characterization. A manuscript critique
      can be used as a learning tool by an author looking to hone his or
      her writing skills.

      Dialogue — words or conversation spoken by the characters that
      advance the plot.

      Editor — person responsible for acquiring manuscripts for
      publication and aiding the author to revise and shape them to suit
      the publishing house's needs.

      Font — the style of type used in a manuscript. For example, Times
      New Roman or Arial.

      Full Manuscript — the novel as it appears on 8½ x 11 paper, typed or
      printed from a computer. The full manuscript refers to the entire
      novel, from start to end, as opposed to a partial manuscript, which
      is just a selection of chapters.

      Galley — the typeset manuscript, appearing as it will when the book
      is ultimately printed, before the pages are cropped to book-size and
      bound. The term comes from the long strips of paper on which such
      text was formerly set.

      Hero — the main male protagonist in a romance novel.

      Heroine — the main female protagonist in a romance novel.

      Hook — the sentence, paragraph or theme that draws, and holds, the
      reader's attention. It should begin the novel.

      House Style Guide — (a.k.a. Style Guide) a definitive manual created
      by a publishing house outlining specific style choices (i.e. grammar,
      punctuation, spelling, etc.) so that consistency will be maintained
      throughout all publications.

      Line Edit — high-level editing that helps to shape the book by
      focusing on things such as plot, tone, pacing, characterization,
      development of romance, etc. (as opposed to copyediting, which
      focuses on smaller, line-by-line issues such as grammar, consistency,
      and style).

      Mainstream Romance — a romance novel written outside the confines of
      category romance parameters. Some differences may include the tone,
      voice, point-of-view, etc. This is usually a longer-length novel of
      100,000 words or more.

      Manuscript — the novel as it appears on 8½ x 11 paper, typed or
      printed from a computer.

      Narrative — words that are not part of dialogue. For example,
      descriptions, thoughts, actions, and setup.

      Outline — see Synopsis.

      Pacing — the progression of the novel's timeline: how fast or slow
      the action of the story moves along.

      Partial manuscript — the novel as it appears on 8½ x 11 paper, typed
      or printed from a computer. Partial manuscript refers to a selection
      of chapters (such as the first three), as opposed to the entire

      Plot — the main action of a novel.

      Point-of-View — which character's or characters' eyes the main
      action of the story is seen through. A story told in the first person
      is narrated by "I"; in the third person, the narrator is outside the
      story and tells about "he" or "she."

      Proofreading — (a.k.a. Proofing) the final stage of editing the
      manuscript that takes place in-house after copyediting. Proofreaders
      check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors that have been
      missed, as well as for errors in cover copy, ad copy, running heads,
      and pagination.

      Query letter — a letter addressed to an editor that inquires about a
      publishing program's policy for receiving manuscripts, or a letter to
      an editor that accompanies a manuscript (partial or full) and
      synopsis for review by the addressed editor.

      Running Heads — the copy at the top of each page that details the
      title of the book or chapter and author name.

      Series Romance — see Category Romance.

      Setting — the time and place of the action of a novel. For example,
      1812 Regency London, or contemporary Western.

      Slush Pile — unsolicited manuscripts sent to editors.

      Style Guide — see House Style Guide.

      Synopsis — a condensed summary of the entire novel from start to

      Time Line — the chronological sequence of events in the story.
      Although the events of the story don't have to be told in
      chronological order, it is important to be sure that events occur in
      their chronological order. For example, a story can begin when the
      hero is 30 and flashback to when he was 18, but if the hero's parents
      died when he was 23, remember that his parents were alive during the

      Tone — the style or manner in which the story is written. For
      example, humorous or dramatic.

      Voice — the author's use of language, which creates a unique tone
      particular to her story.
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