I’m a big fan of the online Lawson Writer’s Academy. When I earned my MFA, I was a poet learning how to write prose and put together a complete manuscript. Mission accomplished.
And now, through Margie Lawson’s academy, I’m learning writing craft I didn’t learn in my MFA program: How to develop deep point of view, what makes a scene click, the importance of MRUs (motivation response units) and having them in the right order, how to use dialogue cues (Margie’s term) that evoke emotion in the reader, how to use body language effectively and many other aspects of a well-written novel.
In a recent post, Margie writes about the importance of writing fresh and shares some great examples.
After reading her post, I found several places where I could freshen up my own writing. Here are some examples (I bolded the trouble spots):
“How are you getting home?” Noah frowned and I found my eyes tracing the outline of his lips. Lips I’d recently felt pressing against my own. Lips I’d recently tasted.
“I’ll get a ride from Lily…”
“How are you getting home?” Noah shot me his I-think-you’re-making-a-big-mistake scowl.
I loved the way his lips puckered. Lips that had recently pressed against my own. Lips that tasted of sea and mountains and home.
I cleared my throat, struggling to dial down my hormones. “I’ll get a ride from Lily…”
Comment: in the before example, “frowned” is boring and overused and doesn’t describe much. The following bolded phrases, “I found, I felt, I tasted” are all filter words…it’s much better to just give the reader the experience.
Filter words are words that remove the reader from the action and filter the character’s experience through the writer’s point of view. Instead of seeing the action through the character’s eyes, the author is filtering it first. Examples from first person point of view: I saw, I thought, I felt, I heard, etc. Read more