Melissa Ford Lucken
Filtering refers to the act of using unnecessary words or phrases that create a barrier between the reader and the direct experience of the story. It involves adding words that describe the character’s perception or interpretation of the world, rather than presenting the world directly to the reader. Filtering can create distance and weaken the impact of the narrative by placing an extra layer between the reader and the story events. It is often recommended to minimize or avoid filtering to enhance immediacy and reader engagement.
Original sentence with filtering: “She saw the sunset paint the sky with vibrant hues.”
Revised sentence without filtering: “The sunset painted the sky with vibrant hues.”
In the original sentence, the filtering phrase “She saw” adds a layer between the reader and the direct experience of the sunset. By removing the filtering phrase, the revised sentence presents the sunset as a direct experience, allowing the reader to engage more fully with the vibrant hues of the sky.
By eliminating filtering, writers can create a more immersive and immediate reading experience, enabling readers to directly connect with the events, emotions, and sensory details of the story. It helps to create a stronger sense of presence and involvement for the reader, enhancing the impact of the narrative.