Friday, February 3, 2012

For the Writer's...Eliminating Filter Words

It has been a while since I posted a writing tip and I do not want my fellow writers to think I forgot about them. Let me give you a quick run down of my novel writing technique.

  • Write loose outline highlighting major plot points. 
  • Draft one. Here is where I fly through the story at mach speed so I have something on screen. I let the story flesh itself out. I like to sit back and let the characters tell me their story. Some times I have no idea where we will end up. I also do research and back stories.
  • Draft two. Clean up mess I created in draft one and dig deeper into my characters lives and flesh out setting. Then I print out each chapter and read it on paper to get a different perspective.
  • Draft three. Same as draft two but more intense. Then I use the text-to-speech feature and listen to my story. (I do all my writing in Scrivener and that is an extremely valuable tool) This is where I do most of my cutting. Wether it be plot lines, pointless characters or most importantly,  filter words.
Here is what I mean by filter words. They are useless words that drag out the text and keep us from getting to the point. These simple examples are from my own writing and how I changed them.

The beast let out a snarl.  Now reads... The beast snarled.
Jade sprinted in the direction of    Now reads... Jade sprinted toward
Jade ran out from  Now reads... Jade emerged
Jade heard feet pounding up the stairs.  Now reads... Feet pounded up the stairs.

It is always best to get to the point. Filter words slow things down, especially in an action scene.

If you have any other examples I would love for you to share them. I am on the constant search to improve my craft and I love hearing what other writers look for in their own writing.

1 comment:

  1. This post really hits home, Kriston. I've been trimming the fat of filtered words in my WIP all this week. Thanks!


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