Identifying Filter Words In Your Writing And Weeding Them Out

You would find many articles on the web identifying filter words. Writers, avoid filters like deadly communicable diseases! Why, you ask? Because they separate the reader from the elements acting on the characters. Why would anyone want that? The greater the distance between the reader and the character’s actions and emotions, the harder your reader must work. Might as well be writing a textbook on gravity!A filter word takes the place of a rich or complex piece of setting, or character emotion.

Look at this, for instance:

‘She felt sad that she had to tell him he needed to realize he screwed up’

It might be an accurate description of what the character is experiencing, but the character stands between the emotional content and the reader.

This is telling, not showing, and all the emotion must be concocted by the reader, that is if they don’t get tired an drop you. If you want a tight POV and close reader involvement, avoid these words in your narrative lines:
Feel-look-know-touch-see-hear-realize-wonder-watch and seem. There are
others, but these are the most abused.

To get rid of the filter words in your writing, you may take following steps:

  1. Take any scene you’ve written and highlight the following words in anything that isn’t dialogue: Was-were and it.
  2. Rewrite your scene without these words.
  3. Once you’ve finished, highlight every remaining filter word. You’ll probably already have dropped a few by converting to active voice.
  4. Try rewriting these filtered passages by adding descriptive content you omitted in the original draft.

Just little tips to help with this strenuous exercise that is called Writing ( You’re welcome) *winks*

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