Haha, I find this so hilariously important because for one, it’s never talked about and secondly, most newbies—especially those who are new to writing—don’t understand what’s going on. Heck, I had no idea what the lingo was and I’ve run into many others who don’t know either!
So I’ve compiled a list of words and phrases that are typically used within both the Wattpad and writer/reader world for any who wants to know the basics!
Forum: A forum is a place where you have conversations with other like-minded people.
Thread: When you’re on a forum, you may notice a few topics that come with a list of comments from other users. This entire topic (along with the comments) is called a thread.
Club: On Wattpad, there are many different “clubs” that you can wander around. Each club is specific to one subject. For example, the “Cafe” is known for the place where you make conversation with others that isn’t about writing or reading. Each club comes with their own list of threads you can go into.
IYW: This is just the acronym for “Improve Your Writing.” Some people tend to use this as the name’s club for a simpler name. The “Improve Your Writing” club is all about other users helping you with your story without them reading an entire chapter or story.
SYS: This is an acronym for “Share Your Story” meaning the “Share Your Story” club, the only place where you can advertise your story freely within the guidelines.
MDC: This is also an acronym for “Multimedia Design Club.” The “MDC” is where you can find graphic artists, trailer makers, and more.
OP: Acronym for “original poster.” This is what would be used by some people who didn’t create the topic, but are referring to the one who did. For example, in this thread, therosecontinuum is the OP, while I am not.
R4R/Read for read: This is where two people make an agreement to read each other’s stories, whether it’s the entire story or a few chapters.
Critic vs. Critique: This is something that has been misunderstood, usually because the user doesn’t understand the difference or because they don’t have English as their first language. A “critic” is someone who gives a review of your story. A “critique” is the review. Critiques are generally given with the good, the bad, and a way that the author can improve their story. But sometimes, this formula isn’t how you may use it.
Thread hopping: This is when you go from thread to thread, and within the MDC, this isn’t a good thing to do if you’re asking everyone to make you a cover or something.
F4F: So, much like the “read for read,” this is the equivalent acronym, but for following. In other words, it’s known as “follow for follow.” This is just when you follow one person and they follow you back.
Ship: This would be reader lingo, and it means that someone who is a fan of something wants two characters to be in a relationship. In most cases, these “ships,” don’t have to make sense and the fan can ship the characters based off anything. So for example, you can have a fan who ships Draco and Hermione (meaning that they think these two should be in a relationship). Others may even mix it up a little like shipping from different universes like doing Tony Stark and Jack Sparrow.
NaNoWriMo: This is a month where a writer will try to write 50,000 words in a single month—specifically in November. Some people refer it to “National Novel Writing Month” and others refer it to “National November Writing Month.” To understand NaNoWriMo better, I’d suggest to go here for more information.
Camp NaNoWriMo: Like NaNoWriMo, this is an event for writing and setting up word count goals and whatnot. However, it’s different because for the actual NaNoWriMo (in November), you’re supposed to be working on a single project. For Camp NaNoWriMo, you can work on multiple projects. The other difference is that Camp NaNo takes place between April and July.
Preptober: This is for NaNoWriMo participants for prepping their work in October and getting ready for November. So, for example, one way to use Preptober is for planning a brand new story before you start writing it in November.
WIP: An acronym for “work in progress.” You’ll hear this if you’re talking about someone’s current project.
Log line: This just means to wrap your story up in a sentence, sometimes two, to help readers or others understand the basics of what it’s about. For example, you could turn Harry Potter into this kind of “log line”: A young boy finds out he’s a wizard and is invited to a boarding school to help teach him magic while also trying to defeat a dark wizard.
Beta readers: A beta reader is someone who reads your entire completed story and gives you pointers on how to improve it based on the story elements such as characters, plot, etc. They don’t do anything with grammar and punctuation and the whole structure of it. Just the overall storytelling part.
Character arc: When you write a story, your character should change as the story progresses. The character arc is that overall change. So, the character should be different or have a different perspective at the end of the story than they did at the beginning.
Pantser: This is often used when referring to someone who doesn’t plot at all. They may have a general idea of a story, but don’t know where it’ll take them.
That’s all I can think of, but if anyone has any questions on others I may have missed, I’d be happy to “decode” them.