Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cut these Words

Weak Verbs
Scan your manuscript for weak verbs that rely on an adverb (-ly word). For instance: talk quietly or walk slowly. Cut both the weak verb and adverb. Replace them with a stronger verb. In this case: whisper or stroll.
Under Edit on your computer, use Find to search for these weak verbs in your manuscript.
do, had, have, get, got, goes, make, put, show, take, tell, was, went, could, should & would    

Filter Words
Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway discusses the use of filter words. “Filtering is when the writer forces the reader to look at rather than through the point of view character’s eyes” (Burroway 2010). Deleting these words shows the reader what’s going on instead of telling. They distance the reader from the story. It’s one extra step the reader has to take in order to experience action with the character. Only use filter words when it’s critical to the meaning of a sentence. Here’s a list of filter words to look out for in your manuscript:
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft & Writing Poems W/Workshop Guide to Creative Writing Value Pack
  • can
  • to hear
  • to look
  • to realize
  • to notice
  • to feel
  • to touch
  • seem
  • to know
  • to start
  • to sound like
  • to seem
  • to think
  • to see
  • to decide
  • to watch
  • to wonder
  • begin
  • to try

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