Filtering Filter Words

Filtering filter words post

Filtering Filter Words

Oh, those pesky Filter words. I talk about them a lot and for a good reason as I discussed in Filtering Out Those Filter WordsIt’s really very unnecessary and I’m ‘that’ kind of writer. Filter words are words that can easily be filtered out because they don’t have a significant impact on the sentence. They are crutch words that can make a sentence lazy, repetitive or even boring.

I will go through a story using the “search and replace” feature to highlight all the filter words in various colors as I mentioned in Well, color me silly.

Along with filter words I include are all ending in ING and all adverbs ending in LY. I also include exclamation points ! and question marks ?. Adverbs weaken sentences that have much more potential. I highlight ! because people don’t yell nearly as, much as they might be written to shout. Also, I try to limit the amount of rhetorical or narrative questions. In dialogue, they are fine, but I try not to pepper too many into the narrative.

So what are they? I have a long list of words that I have compiled over the years. Words that I tend to stick to sentences instead of better words. I lean on some more than others. Here they are listed in alphabetical order with the number of incidences that occurred for each within a book I’m currently re-writing, editing and revising. I like to multitask on the first modification of the first draft. The book is only 30,627 words, so these numbers are not too bad. I am looking to beef this story up and add a lot more words, but I don’t want the filter words etc. to drag the story down.

868      ing
566      was
421      ?
403      ly
343      that
174      is
158      But
152      up
145      know
145      said
113      look
109      can
108      hand
90       see
89       just
88       could
70       remember
62       think
61       head
60       eyes
59       Then
53       feel
52       very
50       ask
49       smile
49       than
46       !
46       hear
45       turn
43       down
43       move
40       been
36       – single dash
31       face
31       walk
29       try
28       well
27       bit or a bit
21       felt
21       knew
19       Really
19       saw
18       breath
18       understand
17       guess
17      reach
17       sigh
16       tried
15       touch
14       seem
14       sound
13       nod
12       grab
12       wonder
11       stare
11       watch
9        shrug
8        taste
7        realize
7        stand
6        hale (inhale exhale)
5        frown
5        somehow
4        able to
4        says
3        blink
3        however
3        notice
2        quite
2        replied
2        somewhat
1        ;
1        decide
1        experience
0        …
0        note
0        rather

Does this mean I get rid of them all? No. I will sometimes set a goal of say 50% or 75%. Depending on the word I may want to eliminate them 100%. It honestly depends on the word and how it’s used.

As you see some of those words had Zero incidences. That’s because I’ve learned. For them, they will probably stay put. I will take a look to make sure the sentence is good, but I’m not worried for any that are less than ten or zero.

The top five will always be the biggest offenders. The top ten are still the top ten. The next ten to twenty are worth taking a good look at.

I bet you’re wondering why “WAS” is up there? Voicing. Often I write WAS and IS interchangeable. I try not to do that. What I prefer to use is “IS” whenever possible. If I want WAS then I use it whenever possible. This is of course primarily for narrative, in dialogue the rules are different. I will try to keep a character consistent in their voice.

Action words such as, LOOK, SEE, TOUCH, SHRUG, SMILE, FROWN, NOD, etc. will be looked at carefully. There are better ways to describe actions and to show emotions too. These words are often found in sentences that TELL instead of SHOW.

If nothing more, I highly recommend looking at my top twenty. If you have a beta reader or if you use the feature on your word program to read your text back to you(This is awesome for finding small errors and sentence flow issues) If you use them you will notice words that you rely on too much. They may be on this list or they may not. But if you have words that appear more often than they should, it can put a reader off.

I keep track of the numbers for my own personal use. I will make a spreadsheet with the numbers from the first draft and recheck them (using the find feature) for each consequential edit or revise until I’m happy with the number of them I see.

My advice about Filter words
Find and destroy! Actually highlight them before you start editing or revising using the search and replace feature, then find a better way to write the sentence or find a better more valuable word. 

Don’t forget to check out and follow the Daily Word Prompt I host.Your Daily click

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/your-daily-word-prompt-multitask-september-11th-2018/

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Popping Inflated Sentences

Popping inflated sentences

Popping Inflated Sentences

Sharing my editing and revising process(woes, struggles, and achievements) is one of my favorite types of posts to do. I like to share my woes, mistakes and the things I’ve learned. It’s no secret that I love writing. It’s also no secret that I’m a wordy writer. I embellish and add so much crap to a sentence that is unnecessary. I’m not going to throw a conniption fit about my mistakes, they are easy to fix, and that’s what the editing and revising process are for.

I’ve been rewriting BiaAtlas line by line shortening inflated sentences and taking out repetitive content. Today I’m going to share some actual sentences I found within the first 3 chapters and what I did to fix them. The fixes may not be perfect, but it’s a start.

Original: She was swallowing hard and trying hard not to throw up.

Corrected: She swallowed the urge to throw up.

Those ings get me every time. From 11 down to 7 words and it reads better. 

Original: The boy lies and pretends to be normal, but he is far from normal.

Corrected: The boy is far from the normal he pretends to be.

That sentence was too much normal. 14 down to 11.

Original: While they decided if she would be suitable or not.

Corrected: While they determined her suitability.

Not bad, took that sentence from 10 down to 5. Decide, decided, deciding are filter words. As you can see I highlighted decide and it found decided. I use the search/replace feature to highlight filter words, dependant words(Words I depend on too much) and things like LY and ING. The post Well color me silly explains how I do this(I do plan to revisit that post and add some new content soon). 

This next one is a smidge out of context. The gist is that this is an introspective sentence and the man is thinking about the danger of having loved ones used against him in hostage situations. 

Original: How many times has he seen loved ones used against him? Too many.  (13)

Corrected: Too many times have loved ones been used against him. (10)

I don’t like been or being. They are filter words often used in the introspective narrative. Been has to go.

Corrected: Too often have loved ones been used against him. (9)

Corrected: Loved ones have been used against him often. (8)

Corrected: Loved ones are a hostage liability. (6)

Potentially down from 13 to 6. That’s a win for word count and the new sentence fits far better in the paragraph than the many words of the original.

The point of this is to show how a sentence can be whittled down if the word count is too high. Also, it shows that sentences can be recrafted into something tighter, cleaner and easier on the eyes. 

I’m not going to sit here and say that I catch every crap-loaded sentence, but I do try. The re-write is difficult because it is line by line. It takes time, patience and quiet to think and concentrate.

My advice about whittling popping inflated sentences
Take your time to recognize an inflated sentence. Use the find and search feature to highlight common filter words, adverbs (LY), clichés, jargon, and garbage words you rely on or often repeat in a sentence. This will help make the problem sentences noticeable.

-Sheryl

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/your-daily-word-prompt-conniption-august-21st-2018/ 

 

Filtering Out Those Filter Words

Filtering Out Those Filter Words

I spend a fair amount of time talking about filter words. That is because they plague me without mercy. Some would say they are the hallmark of a bad writer, others would say even the best writers fall prey to them. So what exactly are they?

They are lazy words, extra words and useless words that creep into a sentence too often. They take the place of words with more literary value.

Here are some of the most common ones I find in my writing

  • Believe
  • Wonder
  • Thought, Think, to think
  • See, to see, saw
  • feel, to feel, felt
  • look, looked
  • Touch
  • Realize
  • watch
  • seem
  • note
  • That
  • Just
  • to be able to
  • hear, heard
  • notice
  • experience
  • sound 
  • Pretty
  • Here
  • actually
  • a bit
  • really
  • very
  • simply
  • rather
  • so
  • quite

There are lists aplenty online that have others and explanations. Basically, they can make a sentence stale and or repetitive. These little words can suck the life out of a sentence faster than you can say “I’m pretty sure I believe they seem to be actually very useless words.”

Here are some actual examples from my new story and how I fixed them.

Edna looked away from me and turned to her son. “You really have to stop bringing the stray’s home Tray, you’re not a boy anymore. I’m pretty sure you can’t fix this one.”

Fixed:

Edna released me from her trance and turned to her son. “You must stop bringing the stray’s home Tray, you’re not a boy anymore. You can’t fix this one.”

Not only did I chop out the filter words but I made Edna more of a bitch, which is good for portraying her character.

The next has a lot wrong with it.

Furious, Edna simply told me to sit and be quiet. I didn’t really get a chance to defend myself. I sat with a thud on the cheap chair that felt very lumpy and looked at my phone wondering what to do. I realized she doesn’t seem to understand and doesn’t want to listen to reason. 

That needs some rearranging and fixing for certain.

Here it is fixed;

Furious, Edna pointed at the lumpy cheap chair.”Sit and be quiet.”
She didn’t give me a chance to defend myself. I sat with a thud and scowled at my phone like a sulky child. What do I do? She doesn’t understand and won’t listen to reason. 

That’s better and gets to the point.

Filter words are best found in editing if they are highlighted. I do this all the time. I also highlight overused words like I, me, myself, said, ate, eat, drink, smelled etc… Overused words are easy to find as they are a type of filter words. I explain how I search and find them in Well colour me silly.

Not all filter words are bad, sometimes they fit into the sentence perfectly and belong there. Sometimes, rarely, but if I find myself excusing too many of them, I go back(Change their colours) and look at them again. It can be as simple as deleting them or as complicated as rewriting a sentence or even paragraph. It’s worth it.

My advice about filter words
Find them and then find a better value than them. They are easy to find once you start looking and you will be better off without them.

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

No “Filter Word” Parking Here

Well colour me silly

Mercy

Word Counts By Numbers

I often talk about word count. It’s a big deal for me because I’m wordy. My newest book, Prophecy, is not a wordy book! Yup, that’s right I managed to keep it within industry standard.
According to Wikipedia, these are the classifications are Novel, Novella, Novelette, and short story.

Classification Word count

Novel 40,000 words or over
Novella 17,500 to 39,999 words
Novelette 7,500 to 17,499 words
Short story under 7,500 words

I talk more in-depth about this in Stories Classified

These are the basic classifications of what a book is by word count. Novels are 40,000 +, so what does that mean? Well simply put each genre and subgenre have their own word count limits. This number varies greatly and seems to change the range values.
Professional editors and publishers told me that when in doubt, get it or keep it to mid or bottom of the range. (For the first novel)

Science fiction between 80,000 to 125,000
YA (Young adult) 45,000 to 80,000 (Midrange is best for this genre)
Horror 80,000 to 100,000
Historical fiction/romance 90,000 to 100,000
General Fiction/Literary Fiction/New adult 75,000 to 110,000 words max 70,000 is considered too short for a first-time author/published novel.
Science Fiction and Fantasy 100,000 words to 115,000 (Some say 125,000)
Mystery novels 40,000 to 80,000 words. This is a genre of disagreement on numbers; I’ve seen the recommendation for a thriller or mystery 90,000 to 100,000. I would keep it midrange or close to 80,000 to be safe.

Now I bet someone rushed to a shelf to pull a book or ten down to dispute the numbers. There are always exceptions to the rules (The lucky ones or not a first novel) or they are older books from older standards. Times are tough and the market is flooded with new authors looking to have their books published.

So what about… let’s say, Harry Potter? Some of those young adult books were well over the limit. Yes, they were but not the first one. In addition, JK struggled for years to get it published. Once she gained the footing in the industry and had a book under her belt, she could increase the word count without worrying about the limitations.

The limits are guidelines and they can be ignored. I learned from my own experience that it’s not wise to disregard time-tested advice and limits set by those who will actually be judging your work and deciding if it’s worth their time.

Now back to my new book. It is a TREAT to revise and edit a book without the gloomy cloud of ‘cut, cut and cut’ over my head. I’m not worried about trimming the fat (Hopefully, it’s not there).

It is currently at 73324 and I have room to fix and embellish some scenes without sweating the numbers. For the first time, I have to add words, which is super exciting for me. I still have to finish the filter word edit, but I’ll talk about that another time.

My advice about Word Count
While it’s important to keep your word count within the limits it’s more important to make every word count. After all, we want to keep the reader’s interest.

-Sheryl

Other Word Count related posts

The “word count” down.

Redundantly Redundant Redundancies

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

 
Interest
 

Redundantly Redundant Redundancies

Redundancies in writing are common. They eat up valuable word space when I’m trying to get my word count down. They are sometimes used to ‘beef’ up a piece when a writer uses them on purpose to increase their word count.

Redundancies are two words put together that are different but mean the same thing. Some of them are filter words and I catch them when I look for filter words.

The thing about redundancies is that they don’t improve the writing at all, it’s the opposite. If I leave them in the impression that might be left with a reader or publisher is that I’m lazy… or worse. So, they have to go.

Redundant word pairings are often hard to spot because we get used to seeing and using them.

Personally, when I’m reading and I see these redundancies in dialogue way too much, I think the character “speaking” is pompous, arrogant or an idiot.

Scott stopped and looked at Amber a brief moment as she ignored his presence. “Amber do you have the proofs on the Foreign Imported Tuna fish project?”
“I need more time to assemble it together. It is absolutely essential I check the actual facts before I can sign off on it. I’ll be done by ten A.M this morning.”
“Works for me, I want the final outcome to be perfect, that’s my ultimate goal.”
“I really like this layout. The way they eliminate altogether the empty space by blending together the illustrated drawing with the landscape scenery.
Scott nodded and touched her shoulder gently. “I look forward to the final outcome. On a side note, how are you? Are you okay?”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “No, I’m not. My emotions are all mixed together.”
“I know.” He nodded. “You’re my friend. I had to ask the question. Lunch later?”
“Sure.” She turned back to her work as he walked away. (161)

>>>

Scott stopped and looked at Amber a moment as she ignored his presence. “Amber do you have the proofs on the imported Tuna project?”
“I need time to assemble it. It is essential I check the facts before I can sign off on it. I’ll be done by ten.”
“Works for me Amber, I want the final perfect, that’s my goal.”
“I really like this layout. The way they eliminate the space by blending the illustrated with the scenery.”
Scott nodded and touched her shoulder gently. “I look forward to the final. On a side note, how are you? Are you okay?”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “No, I’m not. My emotions are all mixed.”
“I know.” He nodded. “You’re my friend. I had to ask. Lunch later?”
“Sure.” She turned back to her work as he walked away. (140)

Well, this is still not great. It could use some personal touches and further editing, the point is that by eliminating one of the two redundant words I was able to make it less weird and take out 21 words easily. Notice I took out AM in the morning completely. It’s a workplace, and before lunch, therefore 10 am is implied. With the redundancies gone, I’m much happier with how it flows. 

When I was researching which ones to look out for I found “200 redundancies commonly used” found on grammar.about.com. Check out the website for the full list.

Advance forward
Armed gunman
Ascend up or ascended up (up, up and away with up)
Bouquet of flowers
Careful scrutiny
Circulate around
Closed fist
Descend down or Descended down (take down that down!)
Earlier in time
Edible food

Follow after
Frozen ice/tundra/snow
Grow in size
Edge of the cusp
Hurry up (well ‘up’ with anything, check it out ‘up’ is a big filter word)
Input into
Join together
Kneel down (down is another filter word, look for it and see if it’s necessary)
Knowledgeable experts (opposed to unknowledgeable experts.. silly but I’ve seen this one recently)
Lag behind (It would be tricky to lag ahead…)
Live witness (Unless zombie or vampire witnesses are a common thing, ditch the ‘live’)
Local residents (They wouldn’t be residents if they were from out of town.)
Made out of (take out, out)
A new beginning (haha what other kinds of beginning could there be?)
New recruit (‘new’ is a word to look out for it’s often redundant)
Old custom/cliché/proverb (‘Old’ is a filter word to watch out for. Ditch the old if describing something inherently old)
Open up (Oh that danged up!)
Outside in the yard (unless of course your yard is in your basement, then that would warrant explanation too funny.)
Over exaggerate (This partly borrowed list incredible list is seriously very wordy and abundantly over long!)
A pair of twins (Would that mean a trio of twins is three pairs of twins or six twins?
Past history/experience/memories/records (See new in the list above)
Regular routine
Shiny in appearance (Actually get rid of ‘in appearance’ after any description)
Two equal halves (Half is half of one hole right?)
Visible to the eye (unless writing sci-fi it’s not visible to the nose)
Warn in advance (one of my favorites. *eye roll)

My advice about redundancies in writing.
If it’s excessively redundant remove one of the superfluous words by taking it out.   😉

-Sheryl

Other posts

Something different, something fun

The ‘been there, done that’ people

No “Filter Word” Parking Here

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

I used this website as reference:   grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redundancies.htm
Gone
Cusp

Local

Edible

That’s what she saw

Choosing a book’s POV, point of view is important. It is partly conveying I am as a writer. Sticking to the POV chosen is most important. Swapping or mixing is generally not a great idea. I have read stories that mix and it’s hard to read.

A frustrated reader isn’t reading. Third person POV is the style I write in. There are two types of third person. Third person Limited and Third person Omniscient.

Third person limited is the story revolving around one person. There is no conspiring behind their back, no major or minor events happening away from them. It’s not limiting, just restricted. Things can happen out of their eyesight (Unlike the first person) but the view of the story revolves around one character’s actions, thoughts, and emotions. You can still show the emotions of others.

Third person Omniscient allows the story to be told through multiple characters. Less is more. Two maybe three IMO.  Now some big famous authors do write with a plethora of characters view, however, they do one very important thing. They don’t mix the views. Some say keeping the views to separate paragraphs is good, and I agree it totally is if it’s one, two or maybe three and they are in the same room or area. However, if there are many characters being followed keeping each to their own chapter (unless they cross paths) is recommended. So if I were writing about Pirates and this part of the story was about a Pirate named Tapper who secretly refuses to rob and pillage, I would start the chapter off with   -Tapper-  that way the chapter is clearly labeled as from Tapper’s view. (This chapter labeling can also work really well for first person perspective if you have more than one character narrating.)

I use Omniscient in BiaAtlas, I have two main characters, a third that sort of gets a bit of alone time and a bunch of support characters. If I decide to give them the spotlight I am ultra careful to either use a new paragraph or they get a whole chapter to themselves.

In third person narrative, I as the writer know everything. Thoughts, emotions, actions and well everything. I can say, show and explain whatever I want to. As long as I stay out of my characters’ bodies/minds. No jumping into one’s mind and speaking from their view(that would be first POV)  This is harder than I thought. Filter words and emotional tags are a good indicator I’ve slipped to the wrong POV. It also means I’m being wordy and can remove some.

This is where Showing emotions instead of telling them comes into play. I talk about this all the time. Why? Because it is super important.

For example how not to third person…

Valery felt sad as she looked out the window feeling the cool glass against her forehead. “I feel helpless.” She couldn’t think of anything to do to help Sasha.
Jackson came up from behind sensing her distress and slid his arms around her. The draft from the window felt damp as it brushed his arms he could feel goosebumps rise on his skin.
“Ah baby, that you feel this way shows how good a friend you are. The police will keep her safe until they catch the guy.”
She didn’t think the police were as reliable as they used to be and snorted a response.
Jackson felt she needed a change of activity he wanted her to stop staring at the depressing rainy view.” Come away from the drafty window love.” (131)

Now I’ll take that rubbish and shift it to one POV, the third. Remove the filter words such as feel, felt, want and think…

Valery frowned as she looked out the window, the glass cool against her forehead. “I feel helpless.” Her mind stuck on her missing friend Sasha.
Jackson came up from behind and slid his arms around her. The damp draft from the window raised goosebumps on his arms. “Ah baby, that shows how good a friend you are. The police will keep her safe until they catch the guy.”
She snorted in response, her faith in the police not as strong as it used to be.
Jackson nudged her from the rainy dismal view outside. “Come away from the drafty window love.”  (101)

Not only did I remove 30 words from the original draft, but I managed to pull the reader out of the characters heads/bodies and let them be a part without jumping perspectives. I have to say once I figured out how to highlight the filter words all at once,(Well colour me silly) it made a huge difference in how I look at my sentences when revising a third person POV story.

My advice about 3rd person POV writing.
This is the most common for a reason but can be challenging. Stay focused and watch out for those damned pesky filter words and emotional ‘feelings’. 

-Sheryl

Filter word blog post No “Filter Word” Parking Here
Dialogue Tag blog post Tag! You’re it. 
A showy Blog posShow and tell 
What I mean by Highlighting Filter words Well colour me silly

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Pillage

Talking to myself

Every time I sit down to edit/revise/review BiaAtlas I smile. I smile because I know how far it’s come from that crazy filter word filled mess of a first draft. I know how much time and effort I’ve put into making it readable and enjoyable. It is a lot of hard work to polish it up and get it ready to present to the world. Right now, I’m still tackling the word count. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m almost there, almost at the goal number and I hope to surpass it. Once I hit that magic number or beyond I will start querying agents again with gusto.

It isn’t always practical or easy to have someone proof on the spot or at my convenience. While having an outsider’s opinion is the best option it’s not always the available one. There is one thing I do when revising that I do both naturally and because it is recommended. I read aloud.

This is very important. Why? Because my inside voice is full of my intended emotions and voice tones, inflections and it has an understanding of how I wanted it to sound in the first place. This can be disastrously misleading. I wrote the story, I had an idea and tone in my head when I wrote it. So, if I use my inner voice to narrate and act it out, it will use the same tone and I might not see/hear/understand if the narrative or conversation is falling flat, or if it’s hard to understand or if it’s completely out to lunch.

Sometimes I read it aloud and sometimes I whisper. Whispering can take out my imagined emotional aspect. This really does help. If I don’t feel that what I’m reading is quite right I might even read it in a monotone. Sure, I look crazy and it has me “talking” to myself more often outside of revision, but hey, it works.

I know I’m not perfect and I would hesitate to read anything written by someone who claims to be. So I’ll keep learning and keep working hard on my writing and revision.

My advice about reading aloud.
Do it. If you think you don’t need to then you need to more than anyone else. Go on, put on a solo performance, read aloud and then when you’re done you can give yourself a standing ovation too.  😉

-Sheryl

Other posts

Oops! What did I just say?

Accommodate and contain perplexed

Covered up with paint and lies.

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

 Ovation

Well colour me silly

So recently, I had a brain wave. Yes in the shower were all good ideas are born it seems. When I revise and search filter words etc, I have to go through using hte find feature and search one at a time. The reason is I’m not a professional editor and step by step is the only way I can keep focused. Sure I spot other issues and other words as I go, but not enough. I skip over and am blind to others.  After more than a year of writing, editing and revising, I asked myself. “What if I could just change the colours of the filter words etc. in the entire manuscript instead of finding and searching one at a time?” Huh. What a great idea. Then all the words I need to look at would stand out all at once.

I mosey over to my computer, once dried and dressed, and I employ my best friend google and low and behold… yes. Yes, I can.

What? How is it I never thought of this sooner? Why have I struggled and toiled so long? Duh *forehead slap.  I am certain there are a few or many out there laughing their asses off at me, how on earth did I not know this was possible? That’s okay I know I’m not the only one and thus I’m sharing this newly discovered tidbit.

I’ve talked about filter words, ing’ing, the over use of –ly so I wont dwell on what words need to be addressed, but how to find and change them? Thus far, I’ve been using the “find” feature to seek out and destroy each filter word or –ing one at a time. Now I can (and I’m stoked to try this on my second manuscript that is waiting ever so patiently for some TLC) highlight all the troubles and in one or two read-through’s address them all at once. Squeeee.

This instruction is from PCmag.com

Yes, you can. Here are the steps:

1. Press Ctrl-H, and click the More button in the Find and Replace dialog.
2. Click the Format button, and select Font.
3. Select the color to be changed—leaving all else blank—and click OK.
4. Click the Replace with box, and repeat steps 2 and 3 to select the new color.

5. Click Replace All.

The default color for text is Automatic, which shows as black on a white background. If you want to change some colored text to black, select Black rather than Automatic in the list. Then if you need to change it back, you can still distinguish it from the rest of the text. If you were to change it to Automatic, there would be no way to change it back.

**My only caution is after each one changed ACTUALLY click back to the text or page to start again otherwise things might not go as planned.

So, there are now more options. (Aside from colour you can underline, italic or even change font. This wouldn’t work for me since changing it all back later might cause formatting issues)

  1. Make all things you’re searching for one stand out colour
  2. Make all filter words the same colour, make all ‘ing’ the same colour, make all ‘ly’ the same colour etc. etc.
  3. Make each word etc. a different colour in order of priority. I red top down to blue least important.

For this final edit, I didn’t pick a strategy and just went with random bright colours since I don’t have a lot left. On the next book I will definitely use strategy #3 and plan it out.

Now this doesn’t mean I have to get rid of all of the filter words or -ings or -ly’s or whatever it is I need to fix, but it will allow me to find the areas that need to be repaired. My wordy sentences or the ones that are in the wrong POV.

Once I’m done I simply “select all” and make the text black again. The uber nerd in me is stupidly excited about this treasure of a discovery. After a little time, it is easy to see that this newly discovered (To me) method is the way to go.

My advice about using colour to find filter words etc.
Why the hell wouldn’t you? I will from now on and forever more, use this. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am about this. (And I’m a tad embarrassed it took so long to figure out.)

-Sheryl

Other related posts worth checking out

No “Filter Word” Parking Here

Tag! You’re it.

Are you inging too?

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

 Treasure

I’m ‘that’ kind of writer

That. Holy moly is that a filter word or what? Yes, by gum that it is.

That is a word that shows up for no apparent reason other than that it litters our daily dialogue. That is a word that many others say that needs to be addressed. That’s the whole truth, that I know to be true. I did that search that out of curiosity. Surely that’s not a word that I over use right?  1239 incidences of that. That cant possibly be used that inappropriately can it? Or as filler? Nah. One day down and I removed 187 useless that’s and an additional 287 words that tagged along for fun. Huh. That’s insane that is.

In a document of 123820 words that 1239 isn’t so bad.  Well that is bad when I’m burning the candle at both ends, trying to get that word count down below that mark of 120000. And generally that is a filter word, so if that’s not necessary, it should go.  Sometimes I find that it’s easier for me to determine how necessary that word is by reading that sentence out loud to myself.

For example:

“I don’t think that this is a good idea.”(9)
“I don’t think this is a good idea.”(8)

“I thought that I would need a match to light that candle.”(12)
“I thought I would need a match to light the candle.”(11)

Girls love that about him.(5)
Girls love about him.(4)  – No that ‘that’ needs to stay see not all of them are clutter.

Sasha said earlier that day that Cal was a jerk. (10)
Sasha said earlier that Cal was a jerk.(8) – Better and this would work
Earlier Sasha said Cal’s a jerk.(6) – Much better, I would go with this.

They were told that they would be tested.(8)
They were told they would be tested. (7)

I get that writing is a reflection of yourself and that your voice is your own. I’ve heard others say that by taking out words that they use regularly or normally that their writing style is being compromised by that. I have learned that how I write is how I write. I learned that when I write better, that it’s still me, only better. That’s simple right? (67) (10 that’s)

FYI this is how I would fix that one (Not that I’d put that many that’s in that to start with). Oooh that is kinda fun to do that on purpose. Anyway… back to removing that and the useless words that that brings.

I understand writing is a reflection of yourself and your voice is your own. I’ve heard others say by taking out words they use regularly or normally, their writing style is being compromised. I have learned that how I write is how I write. When I write better, that it’s still me, only better. Simple right? (56) (2 that’s)

Okay so I would probably trim that up more but for this purpose that made my point. I didn’t take all of the ‘that’ out either.

I have used 87 incidences of ‘that’ in this post of 642 words (not including the title or feature image). See how easy that that is to interject a that or two? I know you noticed because I pointed that out from the beginning.

My advice about that.
Take a second look, you might not need that that after all.

-Sheryl

For fun, I looked at my blogs and here are the eight that had ‘that’ in the title. I’m not going to link them all, WP doesn’t like that, I’ll link the first three.

What happened to that guy?

That sounds complicated

Ghosts that write stories

It’s funny you said that…

That is disgusting

The ‘been there done that’ people

Did you smell that?

That sounds right

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

 Candle
Filter