Sunday, June 21, 2015

JUST FOR WRITERS......In A Few Verbs

Hello!  You haven't heard from me for awhile. I've been busy writing and so that's what I'd like to blog about for a bit--until I run out of steam. Or y'all send me emails telling me to quit. SMILE! 

First and foremost, for me, writing is all about language. Okay, that sounds obvious but it's not. Words are amazing. Powerful. Can be wielded like an artist's paint and brush to create a world and everything and everyone in it. Even more amazing words can add the many hues and shades of emotion.

Start by focusing on verbs. They're powerful. 

For example, Charlie can walk from Point A to Point B. But think how you view what's happening if Charlie---------

Jump in and brainstorm some other possibilities. 

Don't overdo it, of course. Ben Franklin, bless him, cautioned "All things in moderation." Charlie needs to walk sometimes so the other ways he moves have impact.

Definitely take out those adverbs--not just with moderation. SLASH! The name literally means to "add onto" verbs. But adverbs often weaken more than strengthen.  Consider these two sentences:
1.  Charlie walked easily through the tall grass.
2.  Charlie slipped through the tall grass.

Or compare these two.
1.  Charlie gently stroked her cheek.
2. Charlie caressed her cheek.

See what I mean. When I'm writing, the first words I focus on and choose like plucking one candy out of box of chocolates are the verbs.

Power up your verbs and your writing will be clearer and more colorful. Dare I say, more interesting.

Jane Yolen and Patricia MacLachlan are masters of the power verbs. Read any of their children's books to immerse yourself in language at its storytelling best. 

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