Show Idea: Filtering

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One of the areas I struggle with is filtering.  When I started writing, my dtory read like this:

Brandon felt a cold breeze drift across his brow.  Howard could see a dozen monkeys banging twleve symbols around a Christmas story lamp.  Jordo heard Dan cry when the demon stole his latest writing contract.  

Then I went rou the James Dashner seemed to become upset when Mary's puppet pushed him into the pit   

Recently, when I read over my work, I discovered he looked/turned problem:

"Don't touch my pie!" Howard cried. 

Brandon turned to give Howard a sour look, "Your pie? I took it from Dan's kitchen first."

Mary glanced at Dan, and noticed his ears twitch at his desk where he'd buried his face into him arms.  She turned to look at the pie, and shook her fist and yelled, "Cursed Lemon Meringue!  I will end your spell of madness!"  

Dan lifted his head, and turned slowly before giving them all a wicked grin. He nodded at the pie with his chin and said, "That isn't lemon!"

My scenes are filled with these words.  

My suggestion would be to take common errors they've noticed, and show how to improve the writer's voice.   

Edited by M.Puddles

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My first novel was filled with filtering words too... I didn't even know it was a thing at the time. Like most of these pitfalls, once you learn to spot them, it is pretty easy to curtail their usage.  I would say there is no reason to remove them entirely, though. Sometimes filters help get the right sense across, as long as you use them deliberately.

"Turned" and "looked" I think are a little different. Some words just come up more because of their use in language... in my own writing I found the word "back" pops up a whole lot. At first I thought this was an issue, but that word happens to be a deixis that is often necessary for clarifying a spacial context. I am not sure if turned/looked are as well, but they do seem to serve a similar role in your examples.

This is a cool tool for finding overused words (doesn't work in Chrome): http://www.wordle.net/create


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