How to Rewrite Filtering Language

Twitter is abuzz right now about agent responses to filtering.

What is filtering?

Filtering language distances the reader from an experience by filtering it through another character. Removing the filter allows the reader to experience firsthand rather than secondhand.

If you read, “Abraham Lincoln saw snowflakes out the window,” you’re probably picturing a window with snowflakes falling down, the view slightly obstructed by the president’s trademark stovepipe hat. But if you read, “Abraham Lincoln went to the window. Snowflakes were falling and sticking to the glass,” you see Mr. President going to the window, and then you see what he is seeing, for yourself. The first example had filtering. The second did not have filtering.

Keep reading for more types of constructions some readers might find bothersome. Click “View Original Post” and skip to the very bottom for a list of overused words you can refer to while revising.

Lara Willard

overused-words

If you spend some time in writer critique circles, I’m sure you’ve heard the well-intended advice to delete words “that” or “was” from your writing. I’m here to clarify when you should, and when you SHOULDN’T, delete these words.

Once you’ve read the lesson, I’ve got a master list of commonly overused words for you to refer to while revising.

Delete “that”

Sometimes a sentence needs the word “that” in order to be read correctly. For example:

He knew from the way I carried myself and the name tag I had been
wearing my father is mayor.

The sentence above reads like a run-on without the word “that.” It reads better like this:

He knew from the way I carried myself and the name tag I had been
wearing that my father is mayor.

Don’t delete “that” from sentences which use a “from” or “by” to describe how a person learns…

View original post 1,527 more words

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