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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Get Ready For #PitMad

I have discovered pitch parties on Twitter. There are a few of them out there. If you have a finished, unpublished manuscript that is ready to query you can participate in the pitch parties.

What are they?  In one tweet, 280 characters, you pitch your manuscript. That’s it. Literary agents and publishers will read the tweets and if they like your pitch that is considered a request for materials. You get to query them specifically by their request.

Often with this type of query request, you might get a personalized rejection, or if you’re lucky and they like your query, then they will request more materials to read.

I’ve participated in a few and had 2 agents request partials and 3 publishers. There is no guarantee, but it is fun.

is this Thursday! Are you ready? Make sure you read the full rules here! Happy Pitching!

pitmad.jpg

It’s important to pay attention to the time. EDT. if not sure what your time zone is compared, you can google it.

It is also essential to follow the rules. People will notice if you break the rules. The agents and publishers will notice. The general consensus is, if you can’t follow simple twitter pitch party rules, you might not be easy to work with. After all, you want to make a good impression.

I will be pitching for Prophecy Ink.

How do you write a pitch? I can get into the details, or you can watch this excellent short video at iWriterly by Meg Latorre.  Click on image to see the video and her blog.
meg latorre.pnghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7mZcyZU1JM#action=share

There are three things you want to highlight. Character, story and the stakes. It’s not a lot of space to work with, so the pitch needs to be compact.

Here are some that I used last time. I’ll be writing three new ones since twitter doesn’t like repeat pitches.

Betrayed by the police as a teen, Moira must now learn to trust a detective who can see her magic death-predicting tattoo. His presence puts Moira in the path of the assassins he’s tracking. With death all around them and chasing them, they must find the truth. #A #LF #F #PitMad

Moira gets three clues, two choices and only one small moment to change the prophesized death of a stranger. Assassins hunt her for defying the PROPHECY INK. She must learn the difference between saving lives to be free and saving a life so they may be free. #A #LF #F #PitMad

Moira doesn’t want to watch another person die horribly, nor to have assassins hunt her. She doesn’t want her life to fall apart beyond repair. It’s time for her to step up and find out who she is and what she’s made of. Oh, and save some lives along the way. #A #LF #F #PitMad

Each pitch is under 280 characters. That includes spaces and the #tags. I will write three new ones for this pitch. I have about 24 written for this story already.

I think it’s important to have three very different pitches. That way there is a better chance of catching someone’s attention.

It’s also fun to see what other people are writing about and how they pitch their story.

My advice about twitter pitch parties
If you’re querying, you should check these out. They are fun and a good way to get the attention of agents and publishers. As with anything, if you get a request, do your research, make sure they are legit. Have fun!

-Sheryl

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/your-daily-word-prompt-consensus-september-4th-2018/

Six Word Story Challenge 04/08/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt, and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt, you can still vote for your top three picks at the end of the week.

The prompt this week is:

Travel

What six words would you use to tell a story about the word travel?

Join the fun and tell us a six-word story.

My story:

“Book open now off I go!”

Come on over to Kirstwrites this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. A new word every day!
Your Daily click

Six Word Story Challenge 7/28/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt, and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt, you can still vote for your top three picks at the end of the week.

The prompt this week is:

Tattoo

What six words would you use to tell a story about the word tattoo? Since Prophecy Ink is all about tattoo’s on the body and I’ve been up to my neck talking about them for querying and twitter party purposes I decided to use the other meaning of tattoo and stretch my imagination.

Join the fun and tell us a six-word story.

My story:

“Exhausted soldiers retreat to the drumbeat.”

Come on over to Wonderwall this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. A new word every day!
Your Daily click

Six Word Story Challenge 7/21/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt, and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt, you can still vote for your top three picks at the end of the week.

The prompt this week is:

Recovery

What six words would you use to tell a story about the word recovery? Join the fun and tell us a six-word story.

My story:

“The cake crumbled… Mmm cake pops.”

Come on over to Kirstwrites this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. A new word every day!
Your Daily click

Six Word Story Challenge 7/14/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt you can still vote for your top three picks at the end of the week.

The prompt this week is:

Home

What six words would you use to tell a story about the word home? Join the fun and tell us a six word story.

My story:

“It’s just a house without you.”

Come on over to Wonderwall this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png

Six Word Story Challenge 7/07/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt you can still vote for your top three picks at the end of the week.

The prompt this week is:

Expectation

What six words would you use to tell a story about the word Expectation? Join the fun and tell us a story about expectation.

My story:

“Wow, your online picture is… different.”

Come on over to Kirstwrites this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png

Six Word Story Challenge 6/23/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt you can still vote for your top three picks at the end of the week.

The prompt this week is:

Foundling

What six words would you use to tell a story about the word Foundling? Join the fun.

My story:

“Howls at moon with new family.”

Come on over to Wonderwall this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png

What I’ve been up to.

What I'm Up To Update

Hi everyone. Life has gotten busy again! Thank goodness summer is here and now I can shift the type of busy to summer fun-busy.

I recently joined Twitter and have been figuring that out. (Yes I know I’m behind the times) If you write books and are not on twitter, get on twitter. While I have been building a following of fellow writers and literary agents, I have stumbled across Twitter contests called PitMad and SFFpit. I found PitMad one hour before it ended and SFFPit a couple weeks in advance. I hadn’t had any time to write a post about them or twitter… I wrote another book. (between reading other books while exiled from technology for hours a day.)

Good excuse right? This one’s a romance, straight up. It’s third in line for editing and revision now… I’ve never written a romance before. I tend to lean on Urban fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism. it needs a bit of descriptive beefing-up and there’s a hole in the plot that I knew would be there and needs to be fixed. I also have another story brewing that I might not be able to keep on the backburner for much longer. So far it feels like a Paranormal Romance – Urban Fantasy. I’m still fleshing out the details.

On top of that I started the “Your Daily Word Prompt” and reading and catching up on posts, I know I’ve been missing and possibly neglecting some. Sorry about that. So far so good, people seem to be enjoying the prompt, the more the merrier, people can participate via pingback or comment in the day’s’ post. I’m open to suggestions for words if you want to send me a message through the “contact me”. I’ve had a couple comments on the layout that I will address in July so feel free to let me know if you think a color or style isn’t working for you and I will take it into consideration. I’ve kept the daily word prompt separate from my regular blog so the prompt posts don’t get mixed into my regular and personal posts. They will remain scheduled and my attempt or hope is that each prompt word is new and fun.

I’m in the thick of querying agents for Prophecy Ink (Sort of on hold at the moment while I do some more research.)  I was super excited to get a request for materials today from a SFFPit pitch. I hope once I get into a groove and things in my personal life settle down I’ll get everything running smoother than it has been as far as reading posts and posting them.

Thanks for sticking it out and being awesome blog-friends.

Keep writing and creating from the heart.

-Sheryl

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. Today’s Prompt is: Adulation
DAILY POST PARTICPIATE

Six Word Story Challenge 6/23/18

six word SP

Here is this week’s six-word story challenge. This prompt is now hosted by Wonderwall360 and Kirstwrites. Once a week they post a one-word prompt and we get to create a six-word story in response. At the end of the week, there is a Poll for everyone to vote for their favorite story and the winners get a badge. Even if you don’t participate in the prompt you can still vote for your top three picks.

The prompt this week is:

Train

There are many types of train and uses for the word. What six words would you use to tell a story about a train? FYI It’s not just a locomotive. Join the fun.

My story:

“The car jumped track derailing thoughts.”

Come on over to Kirstwrites this week to tell your six-word story to this week prompt. Click on the image below to participate in this week’s prompt.

Six Word Story icon.png