Tag Archives: Northern Colorado Writers

Arcane words by guest blogger Jerry Eckert

One of the joys of being a writer and a member of Northern Colorado Writers (NCW) is that I get to know lots of people who share a love of words.  Some write fiction, some non-fiction, some are into memoirs and others do middle grade or YA.

I saw this post on Facebook from one of those people mentioned above.  I see Jerry Eckert when he is in town at the NCW monthly coffee meetings and at the groups social events.

With Jerry’s permission here is what he wrote recently:

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Head-hopping — Have you experienced it?

Head-hopping is not a term I have heard before.  Since it came up at a recent meeting of my friends and colleagues at a Northern Colorado Writers, I thought I would share it here.

This wordsbybob.com post may be aimed at writers, but it also applies to readers.

Head-hopping—what is it? 
It is what a reader experiences when the writer of a book makes a sudden change in the character point of view (POV.)

The reader’s mind is abruptly, and usually without warning, jerked from one orientation or viewpoint to another.

One example would be when a first-person narrative suddenly changes to the third person perspective.

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Excoriate — a definition

I try to be aware of words I hear that I have never heard or do not know the definition of.


Today, at the monthly Northern Colorado Writers coffee, one such word arose.

One of the members was telling about submitting a piece of his writing to a critique group. He said, jokingly I think, that the group would excoriate the work he was submitting.

I think this may have been a bit harsh based on my experiences with the two writers critique groups that I belong to.

Excoriate means to censure in a scathing manner, to criticize or to berate severely.  An example would to excoriate someone for some bad behavior.

A secondary definition that I hope did not apply to my fellow writers is to damage, strip off or remove skin.

Frabjous?

Frabjous     I never heard this word until yesterday.

I was at a meeting of the Northern Colorado Writers.  It was the monthly coffee where a few members get together and share ideas and challenges.

At the start of the meeting, the director of NCW, Kerrie Flanigan, asks everyone to say who they are and what they are working on.  She also has a question of the day.

Yesterday’s question was, “What is your favorite word?”   For many, especially writers, it is hard to pin down just one word.

One person in the group said her word was frabjous.  I should have known this word, I guess, but it sent me scrambling to learn more.

Frabjous is from Lewis Carroll‘s Jabberwocky.  If is a combination of  “fabulous” and ”joyous”.

I also learned that frabjous is a nonce word.  This means it is a word invented for an occasion.

Know of any other nonce words?

(By the way, my word was serendipity)

Redunant words — again

Redundant words are one of my favorite topics.  See my earlier blog post on redundant words and redundancies.

At last weekend’s Northern Colorado Writers Conference in Fort Collins, I was again reminded of this topic.  (Find out more about Northern Colorado Writers)

During a break between sessions, I was having a soft drink and chatting with some other conference attendees and one of the agents who attended.  A wonderful fringe benefit about the NCW conference is that the presenters and agents in attendance mingle during breaks, and sit at the tables with the writers at meal times. 

Steve Mettee, one of the agents, sat with us as we took a short respite from the educational sessions.  We all chatted with him about where he was from (California), things to do in Fort Collins, and other conferences he has attended.

Steve was nice enough to ask me about my writing, so I told him about wordsbybob.com.  Steve shared his love for words, and said he has a pet redundancy that bothered him.

Mettee’s example, which I haven’t address in past redundant word blog posts, was “the reason why.”  
I agree with Steve.  It should be ‘the reason” or “why.”   Not both.

This ranks up there with my semi-rant about the somewhat unique redundancy.

As an aside, Steve’s company is called Quill Driver Books.  Quill driver is an interesting term–look it  up.

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Mad-libs on steroids

Most people remember the old mad-libs game we played as kids.  (I suppose now it is an app you can buy and play electronically)  That is what I call the recent exercise we did at the monthly Northern Colorado Writers coffee. 

Before each monthly meeting, we network before sitting down to share any questions, challenges, successes or writing-related topics we want to discuss.

To get started Kerrie Flanagan, Director of Northern Colorado Writers,  does some kind of question for us.  At the last meeting, we did something different.  Kerrie had each of us (11 in total) write a random opening line for a book or story.  That done, we folded the paper so our line did not show.  It was handed to the person next to us.  He or she added a line that related to the first.  That person then folded the paper so only their line showed.  It was passed and each person in succession wrote based only on the one line that was written before them.

What a blast.  Kerrie posted some of the resulting stories on NCW’s blog site called The Writing Bug

See the  impromptu stories that amazingly made some sense.