How to Find and Fix Filter Words and Filter Phrases in Your Writing

Writing advice often relates to the same two topics: show, don't tell and write in the active voice. So, say you're taking on these two nuggets of wisdom. You're ready to incorporate the advice you keep getting from your critique partner(s) and your writing group! You've learned everything you need to know about how to change passive voice into active voice and how to show rather than tell. Yet, even though you've made certain to use verbs that aren't being verbs and you've incorporated adjectives as descriptors, your writing still feels clunky. It's still getting dinged at your critique group meetings.

This is because oops! in trying to fix one problem, you've introduced a new problem. And that's the use of filter words and filter phrases in your writing.

Book Release — With Words We Weave 2022: Hope

An exclusive, never-posted tale about our intrepid Hopeful Wanderer graces the pages of Texas High Plains Writers' most recent anthology — With Words We Weave 2022: Hope. A spiritual sequel to one of the web series flash fictions, "Occlusion" pits the Wanderer against an old, vengeful foe as their blood and everyone else's starts draining … Continue reading Book Release — With Words We Weave 2022: Hope

Why Writing Fanfiction Appeals to Me

We've all heard the claims. Fanfiction = bad writing. Blah blah blah. Gatekeepers want to keep readers of fanfiction from enjoying fanfiction and writers of fanfiction from enjoying writing it. For some reason. For one, fanfiction = bad writing is a false equivalent. Just like original fiction = good writing is a false equivalent. I've … Continue reading Why Writing Fanfiction Appeals to Me

Opening Sentences: Central Conflict as the Narrative Hook

Deep down, or maybe not so deep down, writers know the value of a good opening sentence. Because writers are readers and have read a multitude of first sentences that draw them straight into the story. Even if you don't know how, you know why: the hook. That magical gimmick that entices readers to keep reading, to buy the book, to read to the end, to tell their friends.

So I'm sure you know why you need The Hook. But how to create it? Structure it? Incorporate it into your story?