The Vocabulary Vacuum

This Blog details my original PAIN POINT in Storytelling, being lost and confused in the Vocabulary Vacuum.


Miquiel Banks

4/15/20243 min read


What is your WHY?

Are you here to get better?

To push the boundaries of the industry?

To become famous?

To make a lot of money?

These are the same answers I hear from writers all the time.

Are they worthy pursuits?

It’s not for the experts to judge, but to point.

And my finger today points back at me.

What is my WHY in Storytelling?

Background of the Pain Point

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time hanging out in bookstores and grabbing any books I could find on Writing.

Most of the early books were not specific, but based on author’s interpretations of the Writing Life.

And of course, most of these were written by Privileged white men or white women masquerading as white men.

Were they helpful?

Not really.

They were more confusing than anything else.

And that led me to my first pain point as a writer.

Where is the chart showing the WHOLE PROCESS of Writing a Book?

Going Deeper

After getting pissed off and looking through more and more books, I realized the issue was my question.

I was asking the wrong question.

Pissed off and in pain, I licked my wounds for several days and then I had an Epiphany.

There’s different kinds of writing!

With that insight, I was set off on another journey and I came to four new categories:

  • Poetry

  • Prose

  • Fiction

  • Non-Fiction

Accepting the Prejudice

Armed with some new information, I read through my books and now, I could see (a little) where each tip, trick, and technique was relevant.

And this step is two-fold.

On one side, you must accept the prejudice (what others call Genre).

On the other side, you must filter what you read (running the relevance).

I felt so superior, thinking I was AT THE TOP OF MY GAME.

Little did I know, this was the beginning of my Heroic Journey.

My Ascension

While browsing the bookstore one day, I came upon an interesting book by Syd Field.

I opened it and my eyes BULGED at this new thing.

This shiny new thing.

All those movies were WRITTEN by somebody?

I flipped the book over and eyed the Prejudice in the corner.

And the word stuck there.


Out of money, I rushed over to the Library and asked the Library Lady, “where’s the books on screenwriting?”

She laughed, “we don’t have any.”

In anger, I grumbled some bad words and left.

I plopped down on the wooden bench and sighed.

How will I figure this out?

That’s when I was told a sacred truth by one of my Mentors.

Capture the Information

Living in the bookstores, I brought several notebooks and scoured for all books related to screenwriting.

These books were better than the ones for writing novels.

They had time stamps and wonderful names:

  • Inciting Incident

  • Act 1

  • Act 2

  • Plot

  • Subplot

  • Protagonist

  • Love Interest

At the height of my discovery, I encountered information overload and became disenchanted with the ENTIRE industry.

And this is where most of you are.

The Vocabulary Vacuum

It’s frustrating and painful, dealing with this foolishness.

You grab one book and they say Protagonist.

You grab another one and it says Heroine.

You read another one and it reads Main Character.

After pulling your hair out, you finally calm down and find out weeks later.

These words mean the same thing!

And then you realize, there’s over 200 terms left and there’s no roadmap and no one talking about this issue.

Don’t get mad, you’re stuck in the Vocabulary Vacuum, but there’s a way out.

Here’s my WHY

I know the pain of being confused and lost in the verbiage of Jargon.

Novel Writing uses certain words.

Screenwriting use other words.

Poetry uses other words.

Non-Fiction uses another set of words.

Fiction is out of control and these so-called experts make up their own words.

How do you make sense of this?

The short answer is . . . You don’t.

The pain of trying to shuffle these items around, it will take you years to figure out.

The long answer is . . . I’m working on it.


You can rest assured that I am working diligently to solve this major problem and pain point for writers, content creators, and other Storytellers.

The Vocabulary Vacuum is a very troubling issue, lingering in the writing ocean, waiting to suck newbies under and force them to lose decades of their lives.

Don’t abandon ship!

I promise you.

I am working on this Project and the end is within view.

Wish me Luck as I venture into the Bermuda Triangle of Writing Issues.

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