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Author Code

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Author Code is a series of phrases that translate to what authors really mean when they're speaking. Toastful started the thread in the All-Ages Coffee House forum in September 2009 with a series of author codes created with fellow Wrimo louie1493. Other Wrimos chimed in, and an entire thread of translations was born.

Author statements and translations

"I have half a plot worked out." = I have hardly any plot. I kind of know what's going on...vaguely. (toastful and louie1493)

"I'm writing." = I'm staring at a blank screen; if you disturb me I will stab you with a metal spork. (toastful and louie1493)

"I got a lot done today." = In between staring at the computer screen and playing distracting and pointless games, I managed to type a paragraph or two. (toastful and louie1493)

"I love my characters." = I really just want to kill them; maybe by saying I love them it will become true. (toastful and louie1493)

"It's coming along." = I haven't written in days. I think about it wistfully sometimes, though, longing for those wordy days on which I fill pages and pages with beautiful prose. I have thought about my story, at least. (toastful and louie1493)

"I have a great idea for a new novel!" = I had a really vague mental picture of something that might one day become a plot if I manage to beat it into submission and get it on paper. (toastful and louie1493)

"I got ahead today" = I actually wrote more than two paragraphs. (toastful and louie1493)

"What's my book about?" = Why are you asking me? I don't have a plot and I'm not the one that has to write the summary anyway. I'm just the author. I don't know what the book's about. (in a panicked voice). (toastful and louie1493)

"Oh you know, it's about...umm..." = give me a couple seconds I have to BS a plot summary to make you happy. (toastful and louie1493)

"I love writing." = I hate this damn process! I want to pull my hair out. I think my eyes are bleeding. (toastful and louie1493)

"Oh, no I can't go out I have to do some research for my book tonight." = It's really bad that naming the second cousin of my main character's best friend's uncle makes me happier than the prospect of going out with you. (toastful and louie1493)

"It's November!" = Excuse me while I go write the word "and" 50,000 times. Be right back. (toastful and louie1493)

"It's a writer thing, you wouldn't understand." = I'm trying to figure out a plot point right now and it would take me ten minutes to answer your question and I'd lose my train of thought. (Bookworm140)

"I'm working on the revision." = I keep looking at the manuscript, trying to motivate myself to actually do something. (Bookworm140)

"All first drafts are garbage." = My manuscript is garbage. (Bookworm140)

"I bought the book (movie, doodad, whatever) for research on my novel." = I bought it because I wanted to and I don't want to hear complaints about how much money I spent. (Bookworm140)

"Uh-huh./ Uh-uh." = I'm not listening to what you're saying but this will sound like I'm listening. Actually I'm trying to figure out how to get my MC out of a plot hole. (Bookworm140)

"True art is always un-commercial" = I haven't a hope in my wildest dreams of ever getting this crap published. (jim_24601)

"I'm researching." = I'm blindly typing things into Google and Wikipedia in the hopes that I'll find something more interesting to do than work on this damn novel. (dianne_the_geek)

"Let me finish this scene" = "Hold on, I've got to pretend to type and act like I'm doing something!" (silvertouch)

"I am falling in love with this one character!" = "I am falling in love with this one character....who's from someone else's book/movie/whatever." (silvertouch)

"Shut up, damn dog, I'm trying to WRITE!" = "Thank you, blessed creature, for giving me an alibi for not writing!" (silvertouch)

"It's for my novel" = I need an excuse for these crazy questions, and that's the most convenient one. (sushimustwrite)

I'm writing = I'm writing posts on the forums. (Cosine)

"I'm mulling over ideas" = I'm playing video games, or will if you leave me alone. (cygwriter)

"I have a good idea who my character is" - [insert name]. There you see, Character? You are Insert-name all day. (cygwriter)

"I know where my plot is going" = to the toilet or off a deep cliff. (cygwriter)

"word count?" = blinks (cygwriter)

"I met my quota today" = I had three cups of coffee and haven't got a word down yet. (cygwriter)

"When can I read it?" "When it's finished" - When the plot doesn't have a dozen gaping holes, characters without names, and once I've taken out that reference to your mother-in-law's girdle. (MarcyCabaras)

"I'll get it published someday" - If I finish the monstrosity, then perhaps I'll write a query letter, send it off to a couple people, forget about the queries until the rejection letters come back, and then perhaps with enough chocolate motivation, I'll repeat the process. (MarcyCabaras)

"I don't want to kill my character" - I don't see any other way of moving my plot forward, so please convince me not to kill my beloved character while at the same time giving me plot ideas. (MarcyCabaras)

"I'm waiting on inspiration" = I'd rather be doing anything besides writing right now. (sushimustwrite)

"Oh, I'm just taking a break from writing." = I've been on the forums for three hours. Go away. (rhanebrennalynn)

"I'm nearly done my novel" = I'm about 2/3 way through my book, and I don't know if I want to finish it... The new project I have in mind is so much shinier! Maybe... Is it cheating to write that instead? (Feytouched)

"what's it about?" "wait and find out"= I have a beginning.... >.> (An0micFinch)

"I'm outlining my novel." -- I'm really just thinking of the same scene over and over again and have nothing else planned. (Kanila)

"I'm going to start writing later, I swear!" translates to : "I'm probably going to open up a bag of cheez-E's and watch a DVD... following an eight-hour nap on the couch. (K.L. Rose)

"I'm editing my novel." Translation: "I'm ignoring it in hopes that it will magically stop sucking while I'm not looking." (LadyYashka)

I'm revising chapter (insert number here) this weekend if it kills me - translation - I'll write a little between facebook, farmville, frontierville, yoville, poker and blackjack. (Sereana)

"Hold on, let me at least finish this scene! It's not going to take that long to write, maybe 20 minutes, and then I'll get off."= This scene is not anywhere near done, I want to write at least something because in actually I've been lazily surfing the web all day, and I'm not getting off of the computer for another 3+ hours. (Dudekcm321)

"I'll rewrite this scene/chapter/novel once I'm done with NaNo." = I plan to burn every copy of it in the largest bonfire I can legally build and then stomp on the ashes and cry a little. After that, I may have some chocolate and try to forget it ever existed. (dianne_the_geek)

"Writing is hard." = There's nothing good on TV and I've lost every game of solitaire since I sat down at the computer and opened my novel. (dianne_the_geek)

"I'll just check my email before I get to writing." = In three or four hours, after I've exhausted every possible email, blog, and video on the internet I might jot down a few words, maybe. (dianne_the_geek)

"I have a great idea for a new novel!" = I have a great idea for new novel that's so great I'm going to jump right into without much planning and I swear I will actually finish it unlike the last hundred great ideas I've had. (PetaSteadmen)

"Sure you can read it! I just have to edit it first." = Oh, you silly person. You will never set eyes on this thing. (Toastful)

I'm just re-writing my query letter and making a few last minute revisions, then I'll start querying = I've already gotten a few rejection letters, but I have no desire to tell you about them. (Erin F.)

Yeah, I've gotten a few rejections, but I'm not worried = I want to go curl up in a ball and never come out again. Quit asking. (Erin F.)

I've been inspired = I have a bit of an idea, but I'm not really sure if it's going to go anywhere. (Erin F.)

I'm researching = I'm reading a bunch of blogs, some written by people who are in the publishing industry and some that have nothing to do with writing whatsoever. (Erin F.)

I don't have any homework due tomorrow = I have an essay due on Friday and a final on Thursday, but tomorrow, Wednesday, I have nothing due, and I want to write. Leave me alone. (Erin F.)

You can read it after I make a few revisions = Which could be ten years from now, because this book is the most awful thing I've ever written. (Erin F.)

I can't write = Please give me a pep talk and chocolate. Then, leave me alone. (Erin F.)

I'm just looking back at some of my old projects = I'm stuck on my work in progress, and because of that, the novel I started working on last year but decided was awful, (and it really is awful), suddenly looks ten times better. (Erin F.)

I need to re-write my novel = I might as well start over from scratch, with different characters, a different plot, and a different setting. (Erin F.)

"When I'm done editing this book, I'm going to submit it." = I'm NEVER touching that book again because it's a disaster and will take too much work. (sldrsprincess)

"I'm going to edit a chapter a week until it's finished. I'll start on Monday." = Sucker! I never said WHICH Monday I'd start on! (sldrsprincess)

"Sssh! Let mommy finish writing this down." = "Sshh! I have to tell this guy in my game the perfect way to attack this other guy." (sldrsprincess)

"What's your book about?" "Umm... It's hard to explain." = I don't have the slightest clue what my book is about. Ask someone who I've let read it. Maybe they can tell you. (sldrsprincess)

"What are you going to write about?" "I'm not sure yet"=I have an idea, but I'm not quite sure what do do with it yet, so I'm not going to stand here and sound stupid and try explain to explain it to you. No I'm not telling you. (TheSmartCookie)

"Sorry, I've been distracted by writing." = I ignored my instant messages/emails/phonecalls for half an hour so it would look like I was doing something productive. What was I really doing? Stumbleupon. (randompenguin)

"I think this is the one. This will be the one that makes me famous"= Yeah, It'll go in the folder with all the other stories I've written at the end of the month and I'll probably make one or two attempts at rereading it but eventually it'll get deleted for hard drive space. (randompenguin)

"I reached my word goal today!" = My character gave a two thousand word description of my, I mean their, view out the window. (randompenguin)

"I can tolerate critique." - if you dare say anything negative about my baby novel, you can forget your birthday present this year. And your christmas present. And don't expect a "happy new year" from me. (Clixe)

"Of course I go out! I got really drunk last week during a party!" - oh no, wait, that was my character... (Clixe)

"Be silent! I'm trying to write here!" - I am spending my time on useless internet sites, but I need an excuse to make you stop with that annoying noise. (Clixe)

"I'm thinking about writing the sequel to last year's novel." - You're actually asking what I'm going to write? Seriously? I haven't looked at last year's novel in a year, haven't the foggiest notion what my story will be about, and couldn't be bothered to tell you even if I DID know! (Rae Reneau)

"I'm procrastinating on my writing a little." - Well, if that isn't the biggest bunch of BS I've ever said, I don't know what is! I'm not only procrastinating on writing, I'm procrastinating on reading, laundry, washing dishes, and working out all because I got sucked into the NaNo forums again! (Rae Reneau)

'Hey, what's your novel about?' 'Uh, well... You know. It's just a fantasy story.' = I know what it's about, but it's filled with all sort of weird stuff, and I don't feel like having you look at me like I'm an idiot. (ToastAndJam)

'I'm going to get some writing done tonight' = I'm going to get on my computer and surf the web till it's one or two in the morning. Then I'll write a couple hundred words and call it a night. (ToastAndJam)

'But I need this book! It's research!' = Yeah, shut the heck up. I just want it. Now stop telling me I don't need it or can't afford it. (ToastAndJam)

'I think I'm going to get some dinner' = Hello beautiful bag of chips/bowl of Ramen/handful of Goldfish. (ToastAndJam)

'I was writing like... all night long' = At least Word was up... (ToastAndJam)

'I'm tired. I think I need to go to bed.' = I'm tired of staring at my blank Word document. I'd rather go to bed. (ToastAndJam)

'I need to write or do homework tonight' = Just leave me alone. I'll be on the computer all night. (ToastAndJam)

'I got a lot done!' = My Word document isn't as blank as when I started! (ToastAndJam)

'Of course I'll read that book if I buy it.' = Shut up. I just want it. I'll read it... eventually. Till then, it'll be happy on my shelf. (ToastAndJam)

I got some plotting done today = I have a working title and pages for chapter plans titled up in my notebook. The rest of the day was spend copying up inspiring quotes for my writing space. Also, creating a calander for November.

I did some character profiling last night = I used a doll maker to create images of my characters. I still have no idea who they are or what they do...

I can't write, I have homework to do = I spent all my free lessons procrastinating from doing homework. Now I'm using that as an excuse not to write. =P (Cherri)

"So, you're really going through with this novel thing?" - "Of course I am!" = I'm only writing this because, out of habit, I agree when asked a question and now have myself dug in so deeply that I don't have much choice but to write this year. (RAveN-838)

"What's your novel about?" - "It's abut this guy and these things that go "Raaawr!" and try to eat him and his baby, Penelope = I stayed up the last forty-eight hours writing on this manuscript, I'm sleep-deprived, and you're asking me difficult questions - go away. (RAveN-838)

"Yes, I'm a novelist" = I have a meager manuscript wimpering to be revised sitting in a file deep within my computer that might, should I ever completely lose my mind, get edited and revised for a couple of days before I get frustrated and run off to find something fattening to drown my woes. (RAveN-838)

"Oh, my main character is based around [FILL-IN-THE-BLANK]...yeah the cute one" = when I first started out, this charcter was based around {FILL-IN-THE-BLANK}, but now I just spout this off to avoid giving any decent type of character description so I can go do something more valuable than talking to you - like reorganizing my character profiles by eye color instead of the shortest to tallest system I made last week. (RAveN-838)