Writing hints or Things to Avoid #1

It’s a whole new year. For me, that means, a whole new novel and the return of writing group.

I am one of four writers, all of us published in some vein. All of us completing novels that we hope to have agented and sold in short order. All of us incredible optimistics.

Today we met, had a wonderful lunch and critiqued fifteen pages each of four works in progress. Two are almost completed first draft novels, one is recently completed and one is brand new.

I brought a print out from this excellent writing site: called Write it Sideways, and we talked  a little about FILTER WORDS and how they affect good writing.

As the article of WIS quotes, some of the data was gathered from this site: Let the Words Flow

This is Susan Dennard’s view from Let the Words Flow:

Filter words.

Filters are words or phrases you tack onto the start of sentence that show the world as it is filtered through the main character’s eyes.

(with filter phrase) I see the moon rise overhead.

(without filter phrase) The moon rises overhead.

(with filter phrase) I feel sad.

(without filter phrase) I am sad.

(with filter phrase) I hear a howl from the hall — it sounds like Emily is in trouble!

(without filter phrase) A howl comes from the hall — Emily!  She’s in trouble!

(with filter phrase)  I can feel the roughness of the canvas beneath my fingers, and it reminds me of Mom’s jacket.

(without filter phrase)  The canvas is rough beneath my fingers — just like Mom’s jacket.

(with filter phrase) He looks furious with his eyes bulging and lips pressed thin.

(without filter phrase)  His eyes bulge and his lips press thin. He’s furious.

Do you see the difference?  Do you feel the difference?

Here are some filter words to look for in your writing:

  • to see
  • to hear
  • to think
  • to touch
  • to wonder
  • to realize
  • to watch
  • to look
  • to seem
  • to feel (or feel like)
  • can
  • to decide
  • to sound (or sound like)

And, here’s another blog with more information.

I know I will be scanning my manuscript to weed out these filters. I don’t want to distance the reader, or lose the interest of an editor by using telling words instead of action.

See you on the page,