This is something I’ve learned on my own, and continue to work on. I didn’t think of them as filter words; instead, these were words overused and abstract, that showed and conveyed little, doing so at a distance. I also noticed that the books I best enjoyed rarely used these words. The authors instead let me share the experience, rather than telling me about it.
Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.
Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing
Removing Filter Words
Filter words are placed between your character and the action. Generally, they are added to a sentence when trying to describe something that your character is experiencing or thinking. While, as usual, there’s a place for them in writing, you can tighten up your scenes immensely when they’re removed. It’s another tidbit for helping you show, rather than tell, as without the filter words, you’re forced to add more description to get what you mean across.
What are some filter words? Felt, realized, saw, wondered, seemed, decided, heard, knew, touched, watched, and can are some of the more common ones. You can search the Internet for other lists of filtering words. Cutting away your filtering words and forcing…
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