Thursday, June 24, 2010

Research: writing acronyms

From last week: Note to self: next week, blog on the weird phrases writers use to describe characters.

My personal favorite: HMG (I might have made that up) – HMGs, simply, are hot men with guns. A particular type of Alpha male, in other words. Not necessarily a hero – you could certainly have a bad guy who's an HMG, although I suppose we do tend to write them as sort of weasel-y.
Too Stupid To Live: someone who is too stupid to live is someone who does something that is not only unrealistic, it's inexplicable. TSTL is going into the abandoned house in the middle of the woods late at night (The Blair Witch Project was full of people who were TSTL.). It's going INTO the basement when you hear the noise, instead of GTFOOD (getting the heck out of Dodge) and calling the cops. It is, in fact, investigating a murder all on your own instead of leaving it to the HMGs. Needless to say, TSTL happens a lot in books (Margaret Atwood once wrote a vignette called "In Praise of Stupid Women" – because without them, we wouldn't have any good stories), but requires very, very good motivation to pull off without people wanting to bang the book against a wall.
Bad boy: A Bad Boy should not be confused with a Bad Guy – they are not at all the same. A Bad Boy is the guy you can't take home to mother, although if he'd just wake up and smell the baby's breath, he'd realize you are the one woman who makes life in the slow lane worth living. A Bad Guy you can't take home to mother because you don't want him to know where you live. Bad Boys, of course, generally turn out to be very Good Men and they all live happily ever after.

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