Saturday, August 26, 2017

Savvy Saturday: Advice from an Editor

Celia’s Writing Tip:  Filter out the Filters

As a reader, writer, and editor, I love to sink deep into a character’s POV (point of view) and the story’s action.  Filter words put a layer of separation between the reader and the character/story.  My vote: edit those filter puppies from your manuscript.

Filter words include:  saw, heard, thought, felt, touched, looked, seemed, noticed, wondered, realized, watched, decided, etc.

Let’s look at an example.  Just for you, dear readers, I’ve added filters to a scene from Haven, Book 1 in my Tranquilli Bloodline Series, while every editor bone in my body yelled, “Noooooooooo, don’t do it!” LOL…

            I smelled the aromas of fried potatoes and grilled meat, and felt my stomach rumble, but I didn’t dig in due to that pesky problem I saw brewing across the room. I watched the grill meister zoom over to Biker Buzzcut. I watched as Roland, too, invaded the biker’s space.

            I saw Alexander flash to his feet and stand guard in front of our table. I felt my hand clench my knife so hard the handle dug into my palm.

            But I saw the vampires doing nothing at all.

Okay, now let’s look at the REAL version of this passage, as originally written, with **No Filters**… 

            The aromas of fried potatoes and grilled meat teased my nose and rumbled my stomach, but I didn’t dig in due to that pesky problem brewing across the room. The grill meister zoomed over to Biker Buzzcut. Roland, too, invaded the biker’s space.
            Alexander flashed to his feet and stood guard in front of our table. My hand clenched my knife so hard the handle dug into my palm.
            But the vampires did nothing at all.

See what I mean? The filter-free version pulls us deep into Carina’s head and increases the tension of the moment, as if we’re right there with her. Give it a go in your own writing; I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

Celia is an avid reader, published author, and editor. She lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. When not writing or editing, you’ll find Celia exercising (really), reading, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies.

What’s on her Editorial #MSWL:
Celia is in search of romance (all heat levels, sweet to erotic, but particularly higher heat), urban fantasy, and romantic science fiction. In all genres, Celia would like to see character-driven, emotional stories with a strong conflict, quirky, sassy, and smart heroes and heroines, oodles of sexual tension, and a solid plot arc. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are her first loves, plus trope-driven contemporaries with quirky or surprising meet-cutes, humor and/or action, preferably written in dual POV. Bring on the fated mates, the second chance couple, the alpha male bad boys and kickass heroines, the cute nerds, soul-searching musicians, sexy CEOs, military heroes and heroines... Thumbs up for stories with series potential.

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