Friday, January 16, 2015

Filtering by Helen Hardt

Take a Tip from Helen #5 by Helen Hardt

Filtering occurs when the character's actions are "filtered" through sensory verbs. Filtering distances the reader from the character and the story. By adding the filtering layer, the reader is "watching" the story rather than being "in" the story.


For example: She felt her heart quicken.

Better: Her heart quickened.

Some common filters are:

He noticed

He saw

He felt

He recalled

She tasted

She heard

She remembered

She thought back to

She looked

She noticed

It seemed to her


To correct the problem try this easy exercise. Print out a few pages of your novel. Highlight obvious or suspected filters. Rewrite the passages without filters. Sometimes a good way to eliminate a filter is to turn the sentence into a question, but use this method sparingly.

Go through you novel and rewrite those lines that contain any variation of the above list. You'll be glad you did because your book will be cleaner and contain interesting action.

Cowboy Heat — Bakersville Saga One and Two

Ivy League~ Cowboy Dusty O’Donovan, an accomplished bull rider, isn’t afraid to ride El Diablo, a feisty stud whose owner, Zach McCray, is offering $500,000 to anyone who can stay on him for a full eight seconds. Though Zach refuses to let a woman ride his bull, he's intrigued by the headstrong Dusty, who he last saw when he was thirteen and she was six. Sparks fly when they’re together, but will Dusty’s secrets tear them apart?

A Cowboy and a Gentleman~ Newly divorced Dallas McCray wants a sweet country girl like his sister-in-law, so why is he lusting after the new veterinarian in town, striking New Jersey transplant Annie DeSimone? Also divorced, Annie yearns to leave her difficult past behind and start a new life in beautiful Colorado. Sparks fly between her and handsome cowboy Dallas, but attraction and emotion aren’t always enough…especially when a cowboy has vowed never to make the same mistake twice.

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To read excerpts from Helen Hardt's books please click here.

Helen Hardt is the Head Line Editor for Musa Publishing and a freelance editor. She is also an award-winning author. Helen writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance for several publishers. Her non-writing interests include Harley rides with her husband, attending her sons’ sports and music performances, traveling, and Taekwondo (she’s a blackbelt.) 

Learn more about Helen Hardt and her editing service on her website. 

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