CWM: #8 — The words feel and felt

No matter what POV you write in, you’re going to come across the words feel or felt at some point. When I edit novels or when I edit my own work, I find a lot of feels and felts. These words are sometimes glossed over without realizing the potential that could be brought to your story if you write without them.

Let me give an example.

He felt like he was going to pass out.” The sentence is more tell than show. It doesn’t give the readers any visuals about what’s going on. It sounds like someone said what happened over the phone.

You want the readers to feel like they are actually there.

Here’s how you could reword it: “The floor swayed under his feetHe stumbled around, trying to find something to hold onto.” Obviously, the floor isn’t going anywhere. But through the character’s eyes, the world is disorienting. It’s obvious that something is wrong. The sentences also stand out because the readers can visualize the moment well.

Leave those phrases in for rare occasions though, including dialogue. Simple dialogue can deliver punches like: “I feel broken.” Writers shouldn’t stay 100% away from them.

However, they are phrases to look out for. You can find creative ways to avoid saying them and to bring more life into your stories.

I hope this helps!

Want more?

#1 — Using multiple adjectives
#2 — Vagueness for tension
#3 — Repeating words for emphasis
#4 — Common misused words
#5 — Misusing hyphens

#6 — Unnecessary details
#7 — Not developing characters
#9 — Overusing character names
#10 — Adding too many details with commas

#11 — Different types of dashes
#12 — Not using plain language
#13 — Dialogue tags vs. action beats
#14 — Misusing commas
#15 — No sentence variation

#16 — Misplaced modifiers
#17 — Characters with similar names
#18 — When to start new paragraphs
This was originally posted on my writing blog.

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