Hey everyone! Linnea here, though only for a second. As of yesterday, my right hand has been incapacitated due to surgery on the wrist. Because of this, typing is very difficult and takes up a little too much time. So I’ve set up a few guest bloggers while my hand heals. First up we have Jen, someone I met on critiquecircle. She’s here to talk about filters in writing.
Well, I’m pretty much just starting out seriously writing and editing myself, and I stumbled across these evil little things called called ‘filters’. Basically, they’re words that, while not always bad, distance the reader from the story. For a while now, a lot of critters on my current WIP, Rebel, people have been telling me they felt distanced. And all I did was scratch my head like a monkey and thought ‘How do I fix that?’
Finally, one amazing person hit on a way to decrease the gap between the story and the POV character. Remove the filtering words.
Basically, filtering is a phrase or word that shows the world as it is filtered through the MC’s eyes. For example:
She watched the sun rise over the barn.
The sun rose over the barn.
Here, ‘watched’ is the filter word.
They heard a loud crash in the corridor.
A loud crash echoed in the corridor.
Here, ‘heard’ is the filter.
She realized they’d have to jump.
They’d have to jump.
Here, ‘realized’ is the filter.
Did I explain alright?
Here’s a list I found on google of common filtering words. My biggest problem words are realized, felt, saw and heard.
- to see
- to hear
- to think
- to touch
- to wonder
- to realize
- to watch
- to look
- to seem
- to feel (or feel like)
- to decide
- to sound (or sound like)
- to notice
- to be able to
- to note
- to experience
What are yours?