🚫 No Filter Words!

Let your readers directly experience the scene.

Today’s Writing Tip:

Avoid using filter words in your description.

Explanation:

Writers often filter experiences through the eyes of a character. If a doorbell rings, the filtered description might be “She heard the doorbell”. If a sandwich tasted good: “He realized the sandwich was yummy.

Filtering puts a barrier between the reader and the scene. Do it too much and you will kill the reader’s immersion. In most cases, you can fix this problem by simply removing the filter. Rewrite your description to focus on the experience itself.

Examples:

When editing, look for sensory or thought processes. These indicate filtering. (E.g. saw, heard, felt, smelled, tasted, observed, noticed, thought, believed, knew, recognized, and discovered.)

Here’s a filtered sentence:

  • Filtered: “She could feel the cold wind whipping her face.”

  • Unfiltered: “The cold wind whipped her face.”

Here’s a filtered passage:

  • Filtered: “I saw that the dog I heard it barking loudly and growling. I felt scared and noticed that my heart was racing. I thought it was going to attack me, and I believed I was in danger.”

  • Unfiltered: “The dog barked loudly and growled. My heart was pounding. I was in danger!”

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Lifeless description!
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“Seeing how classic authors paint pictures is very helpful. I use Grammarly for spelling and grammar. It's interesting to see how it tries to correct Hemingway and London. I liked the lesson. I got several ideas for improving my current project. Thank you!”

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