1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Filtering

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Wreybies, Jul 21, 2013.

    I came across this in one of my other forums and thought it was a great article because it addresses something I personally mention often in my critiques here. If you've gotten a critique from me, you may have heard me mention the word marrionetting. Filtering is part of what I talk about when I mention that word and has much to do with over-manipulating the reading which keeps him/her at a remove from the characters. This also speaks to another discussion we were having not long ago concerning endless strings of he verbed / she verbed.

    Have a read then lets chat about it, shall we? :D

    Filtering
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Ah yes, I've heard of this. Never knew it actually had a name. I'm trying to avoid doing it in my first person story now but sometimes you can't avoid it, unfortunately. I don't know if have He saw...ect really does take the reader out of the story that much though..
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I would think it's easier to avoid in 1st person than in third.
     
  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Not something I've really considered before. I tend to just write and then try and figure out how it could read better. Baby steps. The more times articles like this are shoved under my nose the better. It can be hard to find specific solution when you don't know what questions to ask.

    This article explains filtering really well. Another one for the bookmark toolbar.

    I just quickly scanned my latest short and it seems I do both. It hasn't been a conscious choice, so it's a bit hard to pinpoint why I choose one approach over the other at any given point. At least now I know what to look out for, it might give me a clearer idea. Anything that gets me questioning and scrutinsing is always helpful.

    Thanks for drawing it to our attention, Wreybies.
     
  5. redreversed
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    redreversed Active Member

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    Is it really that bad? I don't think it ever bothered me before if I read books with filtering.
    I could understand if its been overdone, but is some filtering done once or twice that bad?
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's like all things. No rule is ever 100% applicable. I posted it because of some other conversations that have happened as of late where different facets of what is spoken about in that article were brought up by members as things they were trying to work in their writing. I saw that article and thought, "Look! There's a name for this stuff!" :D
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's useful for changing more telling to showing. I already try to remove some of those filter words as they aren't needed. If the character notices something, the reader knows that by the passage so it's redundant.

    While my son is an avid reader and not someone necessarily educated in creative writing, he pointed out some of those 'we already know that' words the first time I braved letting him read a chapter of my work.



    [Side note] Notice Cog that he references Janet Burroway, that source you never heard of in our italics for internal dialog discussion. ;) [/sidenote]
     
  8. UnrealCity
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    UnrealCity Active Member

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    This is quite interesting. Certainly something I should be considering when writing. Awesome link, thanks:)
     
  9. hughesj
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    hughesj Member

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    oh no, I have a feeling I might be doing this. Time to edit :D
     
  10. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    A lot of 'filtering' is done when a person does a hard copy edit of their story/novel. I agree with Maiamamma on the need to do at least two of them because there's a lot a writer will miss just looking at a screen. I'm on my second and I'm catching mistakes that made it past the first one, along with removing things. This post is more about redundancy then it is about filtering. Most of the examples shown on the blog fit that category.

    There's plenty of things any writer puts into a sentence, paragraph or chapter that's redundant. The key, though, is spotting when something is.

    Here's a paragraph I'm fixing. The redundant and repetitive statement is pretty obvious.

    She walked over and waited for the door’s sensor to recognize her presence. A small light over the entrance changed from red to green and then the glass opening slid aside. Talia walked into the room and the door make a soft hissing sound as it slid shut again.

    'walked into the room' is redundant after the actions of the door. The sentence could easily change to: Talia listened to the soft hissing sound of the door shutting before she sucked in a deep breath. or something similar. At this point, I'm worn out from being on call, so that's the best I can come up with right now. Tomorrow I'll be able to create ten different sentences, but it puts words on screen to show the example.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I believe the blog-writer is simply using the term filtering differently than you.
     
  12. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I seem to always nitpick about this when critting...
    There's something clunky and redundant about it, especially in first person. But a little here and there shouldn't be a problem, and to me it looks like this happens often in earlier drafts.
     

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