Wednesday, November 9, 2005

X-Y-V (eXamine Your Verbs)

This is a tip I picked up at the Alabama Writers' Conclave this past July, at a workshop conducted by Sue Walker, current Poet Laureate of Alabama. Particularly when writing poetry, every word counts. So, one way to really improve a first draft is to go back and eXamine Your Verbs. Get rid of passive "to be" verbs, scratch out those verbs ending in "-ing." If "hot" appears in your draft, break out the thesaurus and consider synonyms and how they add nuance to your writing. Action is very important -- make sure your reader can feel it by choosing the best verbs possible.

1 comment:

  1. Too true! I will look at my work with this tip in hand. At the NC Writers' Network conference, we talked about how adverbs only prop up weak verbs, trying to cut 1/2 of something that is not working, and I also tried taking my favorite poem by someone else and turning it on its head. Super blog,


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