Wednesday, September 19, 2018


By Ronda Simmons

I have a small stone that has the word OHIO etched onto it. As much as I admire the Buckeye State, I don’t have it as a reminder of Amish farms and Rock and Roll. 

It's there because of the acronym it represents: Only Handle It Once. It’s a handy little pneumonic that I apply to mundane tasks such as sorting mail, picking up debris in my living room, hiding the bodies of my enemies, etc.

An acronym is formed using the first letter or letters in the words of a phrase. Familiar examples include:  

LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) 

SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)

AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) 

An initialism is a particular type of acronym where each letter of the new word is pronounced individually: such as in FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), TTYL (Talk To You Later) and BFF (Best Friend Forever).

Acronyms For Writing

A lot of writers talk about Butt in Chair, or BIC, as the only way to actually get the work done. Another version is BICHOK (Butt in Chair Hands on Keyboard), which my inner muse mutters to me when she wants me to write and I’m not feeling it. 

This is not a dirty word

There are plenty of other useful acronyms in the writing world. RUE is one of them. It stands for Resist the Urge to Explain. A writer should not explain everything that appears on the page, let the readers figure some of it out for themselves.

STOPS is a good acronym for editing, it represents the five biggies: Sentence Structure, Tenses, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling.

SCOPE is a variation for copy editing, it stands for  Spelling, Capitalization, Order of words, Punctuation, and Express Complete Thoughts.

Image result for funny acronyms list

Can't Get Enough of Those Acronyms!

Here are a few more that you may find useful:

MEGO: My Eyes Glaze Over. If that happens during editing, you know exactly which section to delete.

PUSH: Persist Until Something Happens. Great advice for all of us writerly types. 

TOTBox: Think Outside The Box, especially when plotting.

START: Schedule The Action Required Today, then do it.

FUTAB: Feet Up, Take a Break, something we've all got to do now and then.

What acronyms do you use?  Share them below!

The amazing author, J. A. Konrath, my new BFF

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