#WriteFridays Exercise 6 – no – 7

For Exercise 6 7 (as Noah has pointed out multiple times, I need to include the Twitter exercise I put out the week I crashed my Web site) I decided to do something a little different. The following writing revision exercise takes a look at something you already have on paper, and focuses on one aspect of the editorial process, namely, filter words.

Take a look at this article on what filter words are, and how they weaken your writing. Sometimes, especially when writing from first person point of view, filter words are necessary to emphasize how your character is experiencing something. Many times though, especially in that first draft, they are putting up unintentional barriers between the reader and the action,. and bBy excising them and replacing them with punchy action verbs, you make your writing more accessible.

Exercise 7: Choose an excerpt from a work in progress. This can be a first chapter, or a few thousand words. With your list of filter words by your side, read carefully. Anytime you come across a scene described with one of them, i.e. she saw the dragon leap into the air, replace it with a more direct observation. The dragon leapt into the air, a swirling gossamer of metallic scales catching the sun. Alternatively, you can pick one filter word and do a CTRL+F to find it everywhere in your document. This is especially helpful if you realize that you favor one or two filter words above all the others (I’m particularly fond of s/he felt…)

Enjoy!

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P.S. While I normally encourage people to post their exercises, an entire chapter or so may prove unwieldy. I suggest perhaps writing a post in reaction to looking at your WIP with an eye to this particular aspect of editing.

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