Today’s editing tip is courtesy of the glorious Nicholas C Rossis, who was kind enough to beta read Chasing Nonconformity. (Note: Yes, I’ve finally started revisions! Book should be out by summer’s end! Huzzah!)
In his excellent beta reading notes, he mentioned my overuse of “filter words”. These are, essentially, words that make the world seem as if it’s being filtered through the character’s eyes.
So, for example:
With filter: Gabby felt her heart shatter into 1,558,309 pieces.
Without filter: Gabby’s heart shattered into 1,558,309 pieces.
With filter: Humphrey heard someone squawk violently.
Without filter: Someone squawked violently.
With filter: Olivia saw the duck transmogrify into a treble clef.
Without filter: The duck transmogrified into a treble clef.
Removing filter words will both tighten up your writing, as well as help to remove that extra layer of distance between you and the character. And removing distance is always a good thing. Not removing distance leads to separation anxiety, which leads to my roommate’s dog literally crashing through the screen door to reach her owner.
To learn more about filter words, the extraordinary Nicholas C Rossis recommends this article. Seeing as I’ve now described him as both “glorious” and “extraordinary”, I’m confident we can trust his good judgment.
To infinity and beyond!
Unrelated media of the day:
Random Harry Potter jokes, because my roommate has been marathoning the HP movies and it seems appropriate …
Reminder: Imminent Danger is free to download today (July 6, 2015) — grab it if you haven’t read it yet!