Filtering devices: avoiding repetition in the first person (tip 36) Reply

Some writers worry about repeating ‘I’ when writing in the first person. Here’s some advice on avoiding repetition through cutting out filtering devices and telling the story through external concrete detail. Thanks to Veronica Charyton for suggesting this topic.
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Concrete versus abstract description (tip 30) Reply

Concrete description is sensory description; it is the stuff we can touch, see, smell, hear, and taste. Abstract descriptions have no weight or texture. They are ideas, conditions, qualities, abstractions that float around in the ether. When and how should writers use these different types of description?

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Tell, don’t show Reply

One simple rule can sort even a serious ‘show, don’t tell’ obsession: so long as you’re dealing with objective facts, tell us those facts as simply and clearly as possible. You only need to make an effort to show rather than tell when you’re conveying subjective ideas.

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Writing tips: words to avoid Reply

There are a few words that you should treat with the utmost suspicion: just, really, quite, literally, very. Mark Twain advised, ‘Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.’ As for ‘literally’, its misuse often results in absurdity.


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