Wednesday, May 4, 2022

IWSG: I've Been Living Under a Writerly Rock!
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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.

Welcome to mine!

Welcome May! Here is this month's question:
What are your writerly highs and writerly lows?

Co-hosts for May are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon! Thank you so much for your help!

My highs are delving into the characters' thoughts and navigating through their trials alongside them! Writing is my cathartic state of mind.

Despite having stories published through these past few years, I am woefully out of touch. My writerly lows are the struggles of enduring a learning curve!

My recent one is the use of filter words. Yes, call me out of touch or living under the writerly rock--it's been a super long time since I've decided to rejoin the writerly community and the speak is different.

What used to be simply called MC is now FMC and MMC instead of hero or heroine. Then there's Universal Fantasy, or tropes* coined by a successful indie author who changed up the community from simple "escapism" which can be a byword! Yikes! Where have I been?

Okay, back to the filter words. That's where I am at. I've always been a fan at writing the deep point of view before it became a thing, but today's angle is more refined than what I'm used to. I look at my stories and think, aw man, now to rewrite them all!

I have many stories collecting dust that need their wings exercised for the big blue yonder, and since I've always written through the visceral point of view, that means I need to readjust my method to fit what is going on now.


My problem word is look, see, regard, behold, stare--all the functions of what the eyes do. I understand that this point of view is the writer's prerogative, but I can't resist and so, here I am!

Here are a few examples of what I've been working with for my current manuscript:

She would call him to her.
She called him to her.

She knew it started with her.
It started with her.

She shivered beneath his touch.
A shiver coursed through her beneath...

She wondered at his magnificent restraint.
His magnificent restraint amazed her.

She saw no hint.
There was no hint.

She gazed up at him, horror and grief spearing her.
Horror and grief speared her.

She thought back on the records. It had taken long to work on these sections of land.
According to the records, it had taken long...

She shivered at the memory of their clear hostility. 
Their clear hostility frightened her.

Have you heard of filter words? What do you think of Universal Fantasy?

*(edited for clarification)


  1. Ah, yes. The dreaded learning curve. Life events took me out of the writing and blogging world for a while. I came back to a lot of change. (I still use hero and heroine. ;)

    I freelance edit, so I crusade against lots of things...unnecessary dialogue tags and filter words, though your list has some mine doesn't. I'll have to ponder this.

    1. Hi, Melissa! Here is someone's masterlist. I think it would include all synonyms! :)

  2. I've never heard of them. I guess I'm also out of touch.

  3. It's good that you see the need to revise older manuscripts. I have one that would need major revisions. I really liked your examples of how you're making revisions to strengthen your sentences.

  4. I've never heard of Universal Fantasy. When I googled it, it came out as a writing textbook. I would regard it as a current fad, nothing more. Nothing to do with the genre of fantasy - the genre I write.

    1. I apologize. I should've included links. Here is what I have on Universal Fantasy (they are basically tropes that readers want):

  5. Your frustration with FMC, MMC, and the like is understandable, especially when terms aren't used consistently. I do my best to keep up with jargon, but my main focus is writing. The terminology is nice to have, but not a need.

  6. I was introduced to Universal Fantasy and bought the book some months ago. Most romance is based on UF and they're the top selling books in the fiction world. Thanks for the links you added. I hope you get your writing on track again soon!

  7. Well color me out of touch. I've not heard of 'filter words', but then, I'm not a huge fan of the current revisions of the English language, so I'm truly not keeping up. And calling a trope a 'Universal Fantasy' seems to be an attempt to make an old classic appear new and hip.

  8. I guess I learnt something new today :)

  9. I try to remove all my filter words, but sometimes I just can't think of a way to write a sentence without using them. Probably laziness on my part for not working harder on alternatives.

    1. I swear, rewriting a sentence is just as challenging as mathematics!

  10. I struggle with filter words as well. My first draft is always littered with them. I use find and replace to weed them out, and it definitely helps my story to feel more immediate and builds a stronger connection to my characters thoughts.

    1. I hope to evenatually write without having to do use them at all! Having to rewrite the sentences is sometimes harder than solving math problems. haha


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