Quick Writing Tip: The Uses (and Abuses) of TK

I’ve seen a couple posts about using TK recently (though damned if I can remember where), which tells me it is in the zeitgeist, which tells me it it time to write about it.  asok_project365_mydesk_1059218_h

What is TK, you ask? Some people say it is short for “to come,” which makes a certain kind of sense if you ignore that pesky K.  But “to come” is definitely the spirit of TK, whether or not it is actually short for it. You put TK in your manuscript wherever you don’t yet know what should be in there.  Not certain of your character’s name? Call him TK. Need to insert a bit of research but don’t want to stop to look it up? Add a TK. You get the drift.

The reason this works so well is this: T and K are the only two letters of the alphabet that never occur next to each other in a word. So when you’re cleaning up your draft, you can do a search for TK and find all the places you inserted it much more easily than using, say XX.

I use TKs liberally throughout my drafts.  And here’s where the abusing part comes in: sometimes one can use them a bit too liberally.  In this case, you’ll end up with a draft so full of holes it might as well not be a draft. Don’t let TK become a substitute for the basic writing you need to do.

But besides that little caution, there’s not much to worry about with the TK. So TK away!

Photo by orangeacid.


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