Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Verbs


Do you use strong action verbs in your writing? Do you mix it up and use less common verbs? A couple of ideas I've tried recently during revisions:

1. (If you're writing YA) Print out a list of vocabulary words that your target readers would be using in school. These vocabulary lists are a great resource for interesting verbs.

2. Create a word bank. Think about the theme of your manuscript and come up with as many words related to your theme as possible. Use a thesaurus and dictionary to expand your word bank.

Switching boring everyday verbs to stronger action verbs adds dimension and description to your story.

For example:

Using TRUDGED is more descriptive than using WALKED.

Happy writing!

:)


14 comments:

  1. Excellent suggestions, Margo. Verbs are the engine which propel the story forward.

    Or should I say "move"? Or "drive"? Or "motate?"

    ;^)

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  2. Absolutely true. I love digging through my brain for better verbs. But, as with all things, too much of a good thing is bad for you. Avoid using really obscure words or using every available verb for the same action. Great post.

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  3. I agree it's good to use strong verbs, but I think adding too many unusual ones can make your writing seem contrived, especially if it's for a YA audience.

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  4. I fear if I wrote YA, I'd have to spend a year hanging out behind the high school, collecting words. They always seem to have a totally different vocabulary. Or same words, different meanings.

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  5. This concept was drilled into my head as a Senior in high school, and I have never forgotten it.

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  6. Verbs! Rah for strong verbs. Adverbs weaken them. Great idea to use a thesaurus; I do that a lot. It's easy with the thesaurus that comes with Word. If I don't find the word I want, it usually jogs my memory into a better word.

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  7. I try to use strong verbs as much as possible when I'm writing my novel:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  8. The right verb and the visual to go with it makes all the difference in the world. I like the word trudged. :)

    Good quick tip!

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  9. Hi Margo - thanks! Great tips. I agree - selecting the right verb is key. It captures the essence of the entire sentence.

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  10. Strong verbs are so key! Thanks for the good insights.

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  11. Thank you for the marvelous tips!! Visiting from the A-Z and a new follower. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff. :D

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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  12. I like this idea. How does one find these verb lists?

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