Writing Tip Monday: Instantly Improve Your Writing by Removing Filter Words

No, that’s not a joke.

You can immediately improve your writing by removing filter words. So what are filter words?

Have you ever read a book and felt disconnected or jarred out of a scene? Have you ever read your own writing and felt like something was lacking or you don’t know how to be more descriptive and engaging? Before I learned about filter words, I didn’t know why I couldn’t connect with certain books or why it took me so long to read them when the story itself was good.

It was the writing flow that kicked me out of a character’s world and narrative.

Filter words are the difference between showing and telling. Our goal as fiction writers is to pull a reader in and have them feel like they are part of the story. They can see it in their heads, they can smell every smell and it’s like they’re one of the characters not just a voyeur to the action.

Filter words: (and variations of these words)

  • to see
  • to hear
  • to think
  • to touch
  • to wonder
  • to realize
  • to watch
  • to look
  • to seem
  • to feel (or feel like)
  • can
  • to decide
  • to sound (or sound like)

Filter words in action:

(with filter phrase) I see the rain falling on the roof.
(without filter phrase) Rain falls on the roof.

(with filter phrase) I feel cold.
(without filter phrase) I’m cold.

(with filter phrase) I hear the thundering music from the bar spilling onto the sidewalk.
(without filter phrase) Thundering music from the bar spills onto the sidewalk.

(with filter phrase)  I decide to go inside where it’s warmer.
(without filter phrase)  I go inside where it’s warmer.

(with filter phrase) She looks beautiful in her flowing white dress and veil.
(without filter phrase)  She’s beautiful in her flowing white dress and veil.

It’s a small change, with a big punch. One shows you, one tells you-drawing you into a deeper point of view.

I have certain words that I am apparently addicted to, and my first drafts are full of them. But now that I know what they are, they are easier to spot and even easier to fix!

That being said, absolutely it’s okay to use them sometimes. Just because filter words are weak, doesn’t mean they have no place in your writing. But if you cut the majority of them out, the others won’t stand out when you do use them. In a few scenes in my current  WIP I had to create that distance between my character and the action because that was how he processed that moment.

I hope you find this helpful and you can go back to your drafts and see and feel the difference in your manuscripts! I will be posting more writing tips every Monday.

sig

 

 

 

Rocking Autum Excerpt | 99 Cent Sale |NEW Project!

Eight days in a row.

Eight days in a row, Jaxon has come in and bought a cupcake.

The first seven days I hid.

I could see him at the crosswalk on the corner of Main and Second from where I stood at the cash register. He didn’t look both ways. He didn’t even wait for the signal. He just crossed the street like he owned it, his stupid hair blowing back in the breeze.

Too afraid of what I might say, I hid behind tall rows of books so he couldn’t see me. Yesterday I hid in the kitchen and the day before I hid in the office. But I watched him the whole time. He would flash that bright white grin and order a coffee. Double espresso macchiato, like that made him so sophisticated or something.  He flirted, asking for cupcake recommendations.

God, the way he lay on the charm with Shannon, the barista. It made me sick. And her giggling at his jokes was even worse. I had to do something, this had to stop.

Following him out to the sidewalk, my knees shake so hard I’m afraid I’ll fall over. “Get back here,” I call to him.

Jax turns to the sound of my voice, with that maddening grin on his face. “I knew you’d come around.”

“No,” I shake my head in disgust. “I came out here to tell you to stop. Stop coming in. Stop with the flirting and the cupcakes and—just stop.”

“Why does it bother you so much?” Jax leans against the brick building, propping himself up with his elbow.

I wonder if maybe there is some kind of ‘cool’ class he went to and learned these things. The Perfect Smirk 101. Advanced Leaning Against Buildings Theory and Discussion. Philosophy of Always Looking Like Your Hair Is Blowing In The Breeze. Creative Eye Smoldering Basics.

“It-it doesn’t bother me,” I stutter and roll my eyes, vowing not to let myself get distracted in staring at him. “Fine, it does bother me. You’re bothering me. I’m trying to work, something you obviously know nothing about. I have responsibilities, okay? I can’t just run around with a stupid freaking guitar and get people to throw money at me. I have to work for it. And you’re…”

He smirks again. “I’m what? Distracting you?”

“Fuck off, Jaxon.” I shake my head.

“C’mon,” he urges. “Let’s get lunch and catch up.”

“I’m not hungry,” I say and cross my arms defiantly.

“You know you want to.” He moves closer and lowers his head so that our faces are mere inches away from each other. “You just said yourself that I’m a distraction.”

“Have you always been this full of yourself?” I snarl.

Jaxon chuckles and shrugs. Raking his fingers through his hair. He’s so close I can smell him. The crisp, clean scent of soap and the warm, masculine musk of his skin. I have the urge to reach out and slap him.

“You forget, I know you.” I grin right back. Two can play this game. “Or at least I used to. This Jaxon—” I use my hands to gesture towards him. “The one walking around like he owns this town, grinning at everyone and acting like he’s so cool and sexy? This isn’t the Jaxon I knew.”

“You think I’m sexy?” he asks with a grin.

“I feel sorry for you. I really do.” I take a step back to get away from his nearness. “The Jaxon I knew was sweet. Maybe a little cocky and rough around the edges, but not this—egomaniac asshole purposely trying to ruin my workday.”

His face softens slightly, but it isn’t good enough. “I’m not trying to ruin your work day Autumn. I’m trying to get you to talk to me.”

“Well, you’re doing a miserable job of it.” I turn and walk a few steps, resting my hand on the handle of the door. I turn back to face him for a  second. “My advice? Turn around and leave. Go back to Chicago and don’t come back.”

“What about my daily cupcakes? I’m starting to get used them.” He cocks his head to the side.

“I’m sure you’ll learn to live without them. The same way I learned to live without you.” With that, I open the door of the bookstore, walk in, and don’t look behind me to see his expression.

Rocking Autumn’s Kindle Countdown is going. Only 33 more hours to get it at 99 cents until the price jumps!

Amazon → US https://goo.gl/nNxvzK
Amazon → UK https://goo.gl/iC8hGK
Amazon → CAN https://goo.gl/7pSZrE
Amazon → DE https://goo.gl/AxgSAR
Amazon → FR https://goo.gl/ct7FzN
Amazon → AU https://goo.gl/tDJA8T

cover_mocka

If you’ve made it this far then welcome to my WIP update and New Project announcement.

Broken is coming right along. I’ve finished the first 30K words and now I am waiting for NaNoWriMo to begin so I can write the remaining 50-60K. I’m SO excited about where this story is going.

For those who know me, I was involved in a storytelling forum of sorts for MANY years. And I had quite a few stories that were popular, but none were as popular as my ongoing story of Matt and Miley. It had glamour, lust, love, betrayal, heartbreak and so much more. I’ve decided to turn it into a series! I have not purchased these images yet, these are just for me to figure out visually where I am going. But here is a sneak peek at The Enigma Models INC series…

sig

Rocking Autumn on sale! Giveaway! And word count updates!

cover_mockaRA-tease

Have you read Rocking Autumn yet? It’s a sweet, steamy read – perfect for these chilly Autumn nights. And Jax? Hot as hell and sweet as candy – find out why he’s book boyfriend material today!

Rocking Autumn is on a Kindle Countdown deal starting at just 99 PENNIES for a few days!

Amazon → US https://goo.gl/nNxvzK

Amazon → UK https://goo.gl/iC8hGK

Amazon → CAN https://goo.gl/7pSZrE

Amazon → DE https://goo.gl/AxgSAR

Amazon → FR https://goo.gl/ct7FzN

Amazon → AU https://goo.gl/tDJA8T

Tonight I am in a Facebook Takeover party. Ravannah Raynes Fall Book Ball. My time is from 8-9 EST – I hope to see you there! I have prizes and swag to give out.

Word count update on (tentatively titled) Beautifully Broken:Depositphotos_79534330_orig

Just shy of 30K. My first 12 chapters have reached the hands of my early Beta Readers and my Proofreader!

sig

 

NaNoWriMo Word Count update, cover, blurb and excerpt!

beautiful-broken-cover

Synopsis

 Emma fucking Winchester

She’s the little sister of my ex-best friend, Forrest. She’s off limits like tempting forbidden fruit, and I’m the snake slithering through the grass.

She ignites a fire in me. One I can’t explain. One I sure as fuck can’t control. It’s raw and primal.

She’s sweet, and I am not.

She’s pure, and I’m broken.

When I came back to the town and past I’d left behind ten years ago to make it big in the world of underground fighting – it was for one reason, and one reason only. To take care of my Grandma Rose, and I’ll do it by any means necessary. Even if it means doing the one thing I said I’d never do.

I didn’t expect to see Emma again.

I didn’t expect to want her the way I do.

I didn’t expect to peel back all her perfectly controlled layers or for her to see through mine.

Excerpt

Yeah, I should have stayed as far away from this town as I could have. I could have sent money to help my grandma. But when the one person who’s ever told you they loved you and meant it is dying—you do whatever the fuck it is you need to do to make sure they’re comfortable. I could have stayed away from Evansdale, but I didn’t.

Now one look at Emma Winchester and I’m spiraling. Hard. My intentions with Emma aren’t entirely impure. She’s sweet. Innocent even. Don’t get me wrong— I want to steal her away and lock her up where she can be mine, and mine alone. Just seeing her today ignited something in me. Something protective. Real cave man type shit. It’s confusing in a way that has my head spinning and my body prickling with a desire I can only describe as primal. It doesn’t make any sense.

The same way it doesn’t make sense that I’m watching the clock. The empty, hollow ticking vibrates in my bones as the needle goes around and around until it’s closing time and Emma still hasn’t shown.

I will be using NaNo to finish off the final 50k words of my novel, which I am aiming for 80-90k words. I’ve been trying to get to 30-35k before November 1 and I am on track at 19,819 as of last night!

sig

NaNoWriMo Update *FB Giveaway*

*Whew*

Depositphotos_79534330_orig

I’ve been trying to get to 30,000 words by the end of October so I can knock out the other 50,000 in November during NaNoWriMo. As of yesterday, I am at just over 16,000 – I did 3,000 just last night.

This one has been going a little slower for me. The plot is a little more complicated than most things I’ve written – and then on top of my complicated plot, I have all that romance arc to weave in. I do like plot-driven romances a lot more than I like the ones that just jump straight into the sexy stuff – and I was having a hard time finding some balance.

The outline I usually use for plotting can be found in the book The Plot Whisperer – and it works great! Then I discovered a book the other night called Romancing The Beat. It was exactly what I needed to keep the tension and romance high while also keeping my story moving forward. I’m super excited to see how it plays out.

If you haven’t seen on my Facebook page I have this super awesome gift up for grabs:

GIVEAWAY1

All I’m asking for entries is that you like my page, or follow me on Goodreads and leave a comment. No tagging. No sharing 🙂 Head on over and get your name in the drawing today → HERE

sig

NaNoWriMo novel announcement!

I did NaNoWriMo for two years in a row (before my two year writing block took over) where I completed The Island and started another novel titled The Lost Boy. The Island got finished, The Lost Boy is something on the back burner for me as it doesn’t fit my genre-however, I will finish it one day.

I’ve decided to participate this year, to motivate me to write the novel I hope to publish around February! Without further ado-drumroll please:

Depositphotos_79534330_orig

The Beautiful and The Broken.

I haven’t written a proper blurb for it yet. But it’s a classic opposites attract, with a little forbidden fruit of an ex-best friend’s little sister, and of course my own little twists. Dean is the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Emma is the good girl who grew up sheltered on her family apple orchard. Dean strives to be a professional boxer, and does underground (ie illegal) fights to make enough money to support his ailing grandmother while all Emma wants to do is leave the ranch to get back to college and get her degree in fine arts so she can open a dance studio. Insert family drama, money woes and heart ache – not to mention some heat hot enough to start a fire between Emma and Dean.

So what are you writing for NaNo?

sig