Jargon Buster

Whenever talking about writing here at The Writers’ Den we tend to use a lot of jargon. These specialist, writing specific words help us to explain what we mean in the best way possible, and without them our posts wouldn’t make much sense. A lot of you are beginner writers though, and might not know some of these words, so here’s a list of some we’ve used so far and their definitions.


Antagonist: This is the main person in the story who actively opposes what the protagonist is doing. For example, Lex Luthor, the Joker and Lord Voldemort. Think of this character as the bad guy.

Characterisation: The artistic creation of a fictional character, including the expression of them through action, dialogue and thought.

Climax: The moment in the story that has the greatest intensity, usually where the protagonist is having their final battle with the antagonist.

Dialogue Tags: These are the words that come after speech marks to describe how something has been said. For example, exclaimed and shouted.

Epilogue: A section at the end of a story that exists as a comment or conclusion to what has happened in the book.

Flash Fiction: A short story with less than 1000 words

Hook: This usually appears in the first paragraph or two of the story and grabs the reader’s attention to make them want to read on.

Metaphor: A figure of speech where a word is used to describe something when it is not literally applicable.

Novella: A short novel, usually between 10 000 and 40 000 words.

Persona: The narrator of the story.

Personification: The representation of a figure or object in human form.

Point of View (POV): Mainly in fiction, this is the angle the story is told from.

Prequel: A story that comes before an existing piece of work in the timeline of the fiction.

Prologue: An introductory section to a story.

Protagonist: The main character in your story. This is usually the hero.

Sequel: A story that comes after an existing piece of work in the timeline of the fiction.

Short Story: A story that’s under 10 000 words.

Simile: A description of something that involves direct comparison of it to another thing.

Stand Alone Novel: A book that has no prequel or sequel but that exists in its own right, as one book containing one complete story.


Has this post helped you to expand your writing vocab? If there’s any other writing jargon you can’t quite get your head around, let us know in the comments below and we’ll include it in our next jargon busting post.


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