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Creator Speak

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Useful terms and concepts about creating works for media.

Compare and contrast Fan Speak. See also the Creators index.


  • Abandonware: Software no longer officially sold or supported.
  • Acting in the Dark: Actors aren't told about the nature of the work or their character to prevent it from affecting their performance.
  • All There in the Manual: Information not revealed in the work itself is given in official books and documents.
  • All There in the Script: Character names that are only revealed in the script, character designs, or the end credits.
  • Applicability: The creator(s) encourage the audience to make up their own mind about the theme.
  • Ascended Fanon: The fans' interpretations of things become officially canon.
  • Ashcan Copy: An adaptation is made when the company's media rights to the original work will soon expire in order to ensure that the company will be able to keep the rights for a while longer.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: A movie includes some profanity or another minor instance of mature content simply to keep the movie from being rated G.
  • Canon Welding: A creator combines their previous works into one series.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A plot device that isn't significant until later in the story.
  • Corpsing: An actor ends up breaking character and laughing uncontrollably at something they find funny.
  • Creation Myth: A story regarding the creation of a universe and its inhabitants.
  • Creative Differences: When disagreements among those involved in a work lead to a collapse of the collaboration.
  • Creator Backlash: The creators are ashamed that they ever made the work.
  • Cross Through: A Story Arc that affects multiple different series, but they don't crossover.
  • Development Gag: The work references a concept from when the work was still in development.
  • Discretion Shot: Something is implied to happen but the camera/narration doesn't show it.
  • Emotional Torque: The capacity of a story to elicit emotion from its audience.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Using techniques and conditions to force a genuine reaction from the actor.
  • Fanwork Ban: The creator forbids fan-made content of their work being made.
  • Fights Crime With X: Crime-solving with a unique gimmick to help the work stand out amongst other similar works.
  • First Law of Resurrection: If a character is killed off, they'll come back as long as the creator wants them to.
  • Front 13, Back 9: The season starts with 13 episodes which are ordered, then the next 9 will air and be ordered later.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: A show that didn't get a Grand Finale has the loose ends tied up by having an episode of a spin-off series or another work taking place in the same continuity serve as a final episode of sorts to the series that ended without a proper conclusion.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode is named in the same way.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Using unusual wipes, dissolves, or otherwise strange scene transitions.
  • I Just Write the Thing: Yes, they write the plot, but in their minds, they have very little control over the finer details of the story.
  • Inspiration for the Work: The creator(s) reveal how they came up with the work.
  • Magic Franchise Word: An uncommon word gets associated with the work that used it.
  • Magnum Opus: A creator/character's most ambitious and laborious creative undertaking.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Creator and audience disagree on what's the former's best work.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: A Crossover between three or more continuities you'd never think would ever meet.
  • Method Acting: Trying to think like the character, rather than simply act like the character.
  • Mythopoeia: A fictional mythology for a fictional world.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: There's no sexuality or romance in a work.
  • One-Episode Wonder: A television show that ended after just one episode.
  • Opening Shout-Out: The opening sequence is Referenced by... a character In-Universe.
  • Orphaned Reference: The final work contains references to a concept or scene that was scrapped from an earlier draft.
  • Parental Bonus: A work features content and references that only older viewers will notice or understand.
  • Pilot Movie: A feature-length film that is intended to serve as the beginning of a television series.
  • Plot Bunny: An story idea is very persistent in the creator's mind or breeds more ideas.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: An episode of a television show focuses on a different set of characters to serve as a possible pilot for a spin-off series.
  • Production Nickname: The creator(s) give their work (or one of its elements) a nickname.
  • Prop: Something an actor holds or physically interacts with in a production.
  • Rule of Perception: As far as the audience is concerned, if you can't perceive it, it doesn't exist.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: A new installment or a re-release has a different rating with little change in content.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Anything not yet explicitly revealed can be seamlessly retconned, with the viewer none the wiser.
  • Shout-Out: A work makes a reference to another work.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Two or more different stories take place at the same time as each other.
  • Stylistic Suck: A work is deliberately made to be of poor quality.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Any vehicle travels as fast or as slowly as the plot demands.
  • Troubled Production: A work has endured a lot of problems in development despite eventually being finished and released.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The villain's the star of the franchise.
  • Worldbuilding: The act of constructing a fictional world.
  • Write What You Know: The creator bases the story on their own experiences.
  • Write Who You Hate: The creator bases a character on a Real Life person the author hates or hated.
  • Write Who You Know: The creator bases a character on a Real Life person the author knows or knew.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Lawsuits are avoided by never mentioning copyrighted material directly by name.
  • Wunza Plot: One is an A. One is a B. They do C.