My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (5)

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision

Eliminating Filters

I edited the verb BE.

go to leekah 1I will continue to use a discarded scene from my First Draft as an example for editing.  A prior post on the verb BE includes the original text alongside the edited text.  This time I will start with the edited version and then look at filters.  On one side will be where I started from, and the other side will be how it turned out.

Exciting?

Nope.

Filtering

I wrote my WIP in Third Person Limited.  You can google Points of View (POV) and get detailed explanations on what First Person, Second Person, and Third Person are.  And, within Third Person you can get examples of Deep, Limited, Omniscient and other flavors.

When writing in Third Person I like to limit a scene to what the POV character could reasonably expect to know, see, hear, taste, smell, touch, or overall experience.  What if our POV character notices something another character does.

So, what if Sue sees Mary react to something, and we embed her noticing inside a larger paragraph.  Let’s italicize the part we are talking about.

Sue tapped her foot, waiting for Mary.  Then she saw Mary turn around and frown at her.  Sue muttered under her breath.

When we put in Then she saw we just put narrative distance between the reader and Sue.  I don’t want that.  So I might rewrite it to put us closer to Sue.  And it might look something like this.

Sue tapped her foot, waiting for Mary.  When Mary turned around and frowned, Sue muttered under her breath.

So, what just happened?  First of all, some words went away, which isn’t a bad thing.  Second of all, we are right with Sue all the way without ever stepping back.

Is this, by itself, a big deal?  Nope.

But if we constantly run into this through the course of the story we will never be as close to Sue as we might.  It’s just one more of those subconscious hints we are giving readers.

What I Tried To Do

In my scene, two filter words popped up in dialog and one in the POV’s internalities.  So I removed the internality first and then looked at the dialog.  I don’t know that I removed any filtering in the two instances of dialog.

This led to a benefit I can’t emphasize enough.  With every look at a scene we get new opportunities to come up with more interesting words choices, and I think that strengthens my writing…otherwise I wouldn’t keep doing it.  Ha.

Scene = 423 (+8) words.  TO BE’S = 0 (-11); FILTERS = 0 (-3); NON -LY ADVERBS = 20 (-1);  COMMON WORDS = 149 (-1);  PRONOUNS = 63 (-1);  SCORING = 0.38 (+0.01).

We grew in size a bit more.  Again I would expect that since we are moving away from telling, which filter words are, more into show, which adds words.  In the other areas, except for Character Scoring we improved.

How It Looked

Revised To Reduce The Verb BE Revised To Reduce Filtering
Without seeming, Corston steered Running Deer into an alcove, off the main hallway.  Nodding to Bright Star and Vitona, he turned his back, comfortable in the knowledge none would dare interrupt him.  Nor could he (1)overheard. Without seeming, Corston steered Running Deer into an alcove, off the main hallway.  Nodding to Bright Star and Vitona, he turned his back, comfortable in the knowledge none would dare interrupt him.  Nor could he overheard. or try to eavesdrop.
Was (1)overheard really filtering?  Probably not, but it wasn’t as fun as slipping in a more interesting word, eavesdrop.  It’s not everyday I get to work that one  in.  Ha.
He looked down on the source of his troubles.  Running Deer stood half a foot shorter than his 5’ 9”, no one would ever mistake her for Grand Haran with her darker skin and glossy black hair.  And carrying the Count’s child this far into pregnancy only enhanced, her beauty, and her animal magnetism continued to attract followers to her, the ones who called her Lashan Princess, while repelling others who resorted to calling her the Lashan Witch. He looked down on the source of his troubles.  Running Deer stood half a foot shorter than his 5’ 9”, no one would ever mistake her for Grand Haran with her darker skin and glossy black hair.  And carrying the Count’s child this far into pregnancy only enhanced, her beauty, and her animal magnetism continued to attract followers to her, the ones who called her Lashan Princess, while repelling others who resorted to calling her the Lashan Witch.
I found no filtering in this paragraph and resisted making changes.
“You’re looking a beautiful as ever, dear child, but, I would have (2)thought my sister, Ellana, would have you bricked you up or whatever you do in confinement,” Corston said.  “I must presume a matter of great import for you to risk her displeasure. “You’re looking a beautiful as ever, dear child, but, I would have thought I’m rather astonished my sister, Ellana, would have you bricked you up or whatever you do in confinement,” Corston said.  “I must presume a matter of great import for you to risk her displeasure.
Did (2) thought actually filter anything.  Well, maybe not.  And it did occur in dialogue, which is always something we need to take great care in tampering with, for it is with their own words that characters define themselves.  Still, in this instance I liked rather astonished more than the pedestrian word it replaced.
She looked down at her huge belly and made a face.  “I wish my son to come out for I weary of this but time creeps by.”  She clutched at that smooth agate with its swirls of green and blue.  “Ebert.” She looked down at her huge belly and made a face.  “I wish my son to come out for I weary of this but time creeps by.”  She clutched at that smooth agate with its swirls of green and blue.  “Ebert.”
I found no filtering in this paragraph and resisted making changes.
“Yes.  Ebert.”  Corston tapped the floor with his cane.  “You did well, girl, to break off with him.  I’m delighted you listened to—” “Yes.  Ebert.”  Corston tapped the floor with his cane.  “You did well, girl, to break off with him.  I’m delighted you listened to—”
I found no filtering in this paragraph and resisted making changes.
“Make him stop.”  She clutched at his sleeves.  “He will listen to you, Uncle.  I (3)know he hurts.  I, too.  Make him stop.”  She took a deep breath, eyes flashing.  “Please?” “Make him stop.”  She clutched at his sleeves.  “He will listen to you, Uncle.  I know he hurts.  I, too.  Make I grieve for him for his hurt perhaps matches the pain in my heart, but he must stop.”  She took a deep breath, eyes flashing.  “Please?”
Did (3) know actually filter anything.  No, it didn’t, and again it was in dialogue.  But the woman has an opportunity to speak from her heart, so why not let her.  So we replace another pedestrian word with hurt matches the pain in my heart.  Better words?  I thought so.
Corston turned his arms, taking her hands in his.  “Yes.  Well, I suppose it’s time.”  A month had passed since she broke with Ebert, yet he showed no signs of coming to his senses.  “I will, dear child.”  He leaned and kissed her forehead. Corston turned his arms, taking her hands in his.  “Yes.  Well, I suppose it’s time.”  A month had passed since she broke with Ebert, yet he showed no signs of coming to his senses.  “I will, dear child.”  He leaned and kissed her forehead.
I found no filtering in this paragraph and resisted making changes.
Then he motioned for Vitona and Bright Star.  They steered their Lady down the hall.  Even now, the girl carried herself with remarkable grace, almost no waddle.  People smiled as she approached.  She did that to people.  Her soft words, in that delightful accent, won them over.  Some ladies had even begun to mix Lasha dress into their Grand Hara styles. Then he motioned for Vitona and Bright Star.  They steered their Lady down the hall.  Even now, the girl carried herself with remarkable grace, almost no waddle.  People smiled as she approached.  She did that to people.  Her soft words, in that delightful accent, won them over.  Some ladies had even begun to mix Lasha dress into their Grand Hara styles.
I found no filtering in this paragraph and resisted making changes.
Worry tugged at him.  Until she bore a son, the Confederation existed as so many words, not a fact.  The heir would knit the two Peoples together.  But, Ebert threatened to upend everything and, however much his nephew loved the girl, matters of state took precedence.  Corston would put Ebert’s interference to a stop. Worry tugged at him.  Until she bore a son, the Confederation existed as so many words, not a fact.  The heir would knit the two Peoples together.  But, Ebert threatened to upend everything and, however much his nephew loved the girl, matters of state took precedence.  Corston would put Ebert’s interference to a stop.
I found no filtering in this paragraph and resisted making changes.

 

What’s next?

Next time I will talk about non -LY adverbs.

Read about editing adverbs.
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7 thoughts on “My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (5)

  1. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (4) | Simply Silent

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  5. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (9) | Simply Silent

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  7. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (11) | Simply Silent

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