Filter Words

It’s amazing how much better a piece of writing can be without these little words called filter words.  Take them out, change them a bit, and instantly you have a tighter piece that puts the reader directly in your character’s shoes. 

MC900365690

Here’s a list to get you started.  And a little trick- use the F5 key to search for them in your writing.

see
hear
think
touch
wonder
realize
watch
look
seem
feel
decide
sounds like

With filter words:

It seemed to be getting colder each time I stepped outside.  I looked up and saw beautiful, white snowflakes falling from the sky and the only sound I heard was the crunch of the ground.  I felt a chill in the air and then a shiver.  I touched my scarf and wrapped it tighter.  It was then that I realized, there are some things we can always count on.

snowflake-clipart

Bye, bye filter words:

Each time I stepped outside it was a little bit colder.  Beautiful, white snowflakes fell from the sky as the frozen ground crunched beneath my feet. A chill shot through me, making me shiver from head to toe.  I wrapped my scarf tighter.  Yes, there are some things we can always count on.

A few helpful links . . .

Filter Words and Distancing POV

Mental Signposts that Tell, Not Show

Are These Filter Words Weakening Your Fiction?

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info! I'll be curious to use this on what I've done so far to see how much editing it will need. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So funny that you have posted this because I just finished reading something similar in a grammar book. It listed all of the words that we don't need and that just add baggage to our story. I didn't know the F2 thingy - thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. @jottergirl There are some great classes on Savvyauthors.com too. I took one on Show/Tell that talked about this, but didn't notice I had done it so much in my own writing until recently!

    It's the F5-thingy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I definitely do this...I call it word swap. An author friend of mine says she tries to weed out "fat" words and replace them with "skinny" words.

    Other words I really try to replace are taste, happy, sad, any animal that isn't a specific breed, big, small, and go/went.

    Nice post!

    ReplyDelete