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.