"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Verbs

Just as in any other form of writing, feature articles (written after the interview) need effective verbs.

1) Avoid passivity - It's better to make the subject of your sentence do something, rather than let something be done to it. "The owl hooted" is stronger than "An owl's hoot was heard." The first is active, the second passive.

2) Be precise - never settle for the first verb that pops into your mind if there's a better one available. Look for verbs that are closer to your meaning. Don't use "shout" if you really mean "bellow" or "roar" or "shriek". Use your thesaurus and familiarize yourself with synonyms.

3) Use the abstract - "The wind blew through the trees" tells the reader something, but not enough. Was it a soft breeze? Try imagery. "The wind whispered through the trees." Or maybe it was a heavy wind. "The wind thrashed the trees." You are giving the reader clues here.

Remember to be selective with your verb choices. Choose the ones that will create the strongest connection for the reader, without interfering with the story.

5 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Verbs, they convey SO much!

Em-Musing said...

Great tips!! I need to tape these my laptop when I write so I can keep these fresh in my mind.

Nilanjana Bose said...

So agree - they create the pace and movement in the story. Great tips!

Nilanjana.
Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016
Madly-in-Verse

Luana Krause said...

As a writer myself, I really enjoy your educational and inspiring posts. Excellent!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Abstracts are something I'm still working on.