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ghost writer

A writer (usually a professional) who assists in the writing of something (such as a book or speech) without taking credit for it. A: "I'm so impressed with the celebrity memoir I'm reading. I didn't expect this singer to be able to write so well!" B: "Yeah, she probably had a ghost writer!" Being the ghostwriter of some of the president's speeches is the greatest achievement of my life.
See also: ghost, writer

writer's block

the temporary inability for a writer to think of what to write. I have writer's block at the moment and can't seem to get a sensible sentence on paper.
See also: block

writer's cramp

A painful spasm in the hand that restricts the ability to use a pen or pencil. Back in the Paleozoic Era when people wrote by hand instead of typewriters and then computers (you youngsters can ask your parents or grandparents if you don't believe me), excessive use of a pen or pencil would cause a person's hand to tense up or go into a spasm that made further writing painful or impossible or both. The condition wasn't called “repetitive stress syndrome” back then. It was “writer's cramp,” and that was no excuse for the schoolroom punishment of being made to write “I will not talk in class” one hundred times on the blackboard.
See also: cramp
References in classic literature ?
To think that the great writer Dievushkin should walk about in patched footgear
A busy age will hardly educate its writers in correctness.
Well, he had taken the bait, the newspaper lies about writers and their pay, and he had wasted two years over it.
Now the foregoing means work, especially the last year of it, when I was learning my trade as a writer.
The first writers of the Arthur story had made a great deal of manly strength: it was often little more than a tale of hard knocks given and taken.
But with successive Latin, Medieval, and Renaissance writers in verse and prose the country characters and setting had become mere disguises, sometimes allegorical, for the expression of the very far from simple sentiments of the upper classes, and sometimes for their partly genuine longing, the outgrowth of sophisticated weariness and ennui, for rural naturalness.
The writer is not fashioning his ideas into an artistic whole; they take possession of him and are too much for him.
In the meantime original work of a high order was being produced both in England and America by such writers as Bradley, Stout, Bertrand Russell, Baldwin, Urban, Montague, and others, and a new interest in foreign works, German, French and Italian, which had either become classical or were attracting public attention, had developed.
The writer had cigars lying about and the car- penter smoked.
The writer has often been inquired of, by correspondents from different parts of the country, whether this narrative is a true one; and to these inquiries she will give one general answer.
1} Black races are evidently known to the writer as stretching all across Africa, one half looking West on to the Atlantic, and the other East on to the Indian Ocean.
As to the 52-foot linear raters, praised so much by the writer, I am warmed up by his approval of their performances; but, as far as any clear conception goes, the descriptive phrase, so precise to the comprehension of a yachtsman, evokes no definite image in my mind.
Four annas,' said the writer, sitting down and spreading his cloth in the shade of a deserted barrack-wing.
A WRITER of Fables was passing through a lonely forest when he met a Fortune.
This distinguished scientist has expounded his views in a book entitled "Verschwinden und Seine Theorie," which has attracted some attention, "particularly," says one writer, "among the followers of Hegel, and mathematicians who hold to the actual existence of a so- called non-Euclidean space--that is to say, of space which has more dimensions than length, breadth, and thickness--space in which it would be possible to tie a knot in an endless cord and to turn a rubber ball inside out without 'a solution of its continuity,' or in other words, without breaking or cracking it.