Writing Filters to Use: The Finer Details Filters

Last week, I talked about writing filers and how helpful they can be to lessen the blow of all that work needing to be done on the freshly finished first draft. After using the Big Picture Filters, now it’s time to polish it up with the Finer Details. There are also ten major topic areas to look at while sprucing up story to completion, they include: spelling/grammar/punctuation, emotion, style, fact checking, word choices, sentence construction, rhythm, time, clarity, and tone.

Note: These details should be left to later drafts. Messing around with these topics before getting the basic structure of the story done is a quick way to the biggest headache of your life, and it will make a lot of extra unnecessary work.

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Writing Filters to Use: The Big Picture Filters

Okay, so the initial first draft of your short story or novel is completed. Congratulations! Throw a big party. Pat yourself on the back. That was a lot of hard work. Then things calm down, and you decide to sit down to work on draft number two. You take a gander at your masterpiece to discover it isn’t as glamorous as you first thought. Sure, you knew it needed work, but not that much! Where to begin? What to do? The text before you becomes blurred. It gets hard to breath, and you wonder if maybe this might be what insanity feel like. But before you commit yourself to an insane asylum, there’s hope, and it’s as simple as just a little focus.

That’s where writing filters come in. It’s the process of keeping a few things (usually 2 to 4) in mind while going through subsequent drafts of a story. These “filters” help narrow things down so you can focus on what needs to be done instead of having a panic attack. Sure, there might still be a few panic attacks here and there, but at least you can move through the muck of your jumbled mess. There is a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere, and using writing filters can help distract you until that light can be glimpsed.