At MWW, I got great tips from Jane on author platform and got a signed copy of her book, The Business of Being a Writer. She’s always awesome! Loving it! Thanks, Jane!
This year’s conference was awesome as usual. Met up with my friends, made new ones, and spent three days thinking of nothing but writing! Got some great tips from Jane Friedman on author platform. SHE. IS. AMAZING!
I’ve been away from my site because I have been working feverishly on the final, final, final draft of my novel. I think I had three final drafts before I was satisfied I couldn’t do anything more to it. I finished it a few weeks ago and it is with an agent. I’m not-so-patiently awaiting her feedback, but I should know something soon. (fingers crossed it’s good news!) I’m hoping to share some of the book on here soon!
My article on MWW‘s mini-conference is featured in March 2018’s Sisters in Crime, Guppy Chapter newsletter, First Draft.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. May you be grateful for what is yours. May you be humble for what is not. May your hearts and bellies be full!
Sorry I’ve been MIA. Working on the second draft of my novel. Isn’t that such a sweet, idyllic photo? Well, no…it’s not like that at all! I finished my first draft in October, short on sleep, pounding away at the computer, giving up my social life and cooked meals, to run proudly to the new world known as Second Draft. Holy Shit! Who turned out the lights? It’s not very friendly at all! Is this the promised land? I’m hating all my characters at the moment. They say this is “normal” but why didn’t anyone warn me that the road was far worse after the first draft is done?
Midwest Writers Workshop 2017 has come to an end all too soon but it was a very successful [and sold out] workshop. Faculty and writers come from all over the country to attend annually.
Three days of learning, networking, and eating. During downtime, the air is abuzz with laughter, pitch practices, advice, book signings, photo-taking, and excited writers talking about the new contacts they’ve made and the reviews they’ve received.
MWW has such amazing faculty each year that it’s difficult to pick which classes to attend. This year I left with a new mentor, a publisher who’s interested in my manuscript, and made a few new writer friends to boot! I always learn so much but here is a list of my top 10!
There’s more to bad writing than passive verbs and adverbs. There are filter words. These words put distance between the reader and your characters. Instead of being in the story watching things unfold, the reader is far away and only hearing about it. A good analogy of this is someone telling you about a movie they saw instead of you watching the movie yourself.
Like passive verbs (was, were, etc) and adverbs (generally words that end in -ly), filter words are easy to identify.
Here’s an example of common filter words: look and thought.
She looked at the man and thought he was scared.
Rather vague. What did she see?
He burst into the lobby, panting. He chose a dark corner and sank into the shadows.
Now you see him. You’re right there watching him, not watching her watching him.
Here’s a list of common filter words. Search for them in Scrivener or Word by using the “search” feature. I’ll start by naming the five senses because they’re easy to remember. If these are showing up in your draft, you’re telling, not showing.
Here are some more and they’re mostly along the lines of your character’s thinking. These words are vague and again, the reader is on the outside.
A few more to add to your list.
The word could is frequently attached to a filter word. She could understand, She could remember, She could smell.
Watch for words had, to, and that. These buggers are frequently, but not always, attached to filter words. She had decided to, She decided to, She decided that.
Filter words are traps for redundancies. She looked at him as he ran into the lobby. Again, we are watching her watching him. He ran into the lobby gives the same information in less words. It’s immediate and active even though it’s a simple sentence.
This is not a complete list of filter words. I’m not sure one exists because many words can be filter words, but these are the most common offenders. Once you become aware of filter words, you will start noticing them. It takes a bit of thinking to rewrite sentences without using them but you will see the pay off immediately.
Know of more filter words or more ways of spotting them? Add them in the comments!
#deep-pov, #filter-words, #writing-fiction