One of the first areas new writers should work on is their choice of verbs. Too many times, we default to passive and weak verbs since they’re simple and accessible. While nothing’s wrong with that, using weak verbs forces you to expand on the idea expressed, leading to unnecessarily longer and more roundabout writing.
- Strong verbs energize. A strong verb will stir emotion and drama better than any noun or modifier can do. If you want to evoke feelings in the reader, verbs are your first avenue of doing so.
- Strong verbs hook attention. They don’t clamor for the reader’s attention — they take it. When you use weak verbs, it’s easy for readers to gloss over the part; not so with strong verbs.
- Strong verbs make things happen. Actions occur and they take place fast when you use strong verbs. Weak ones, on the other hand, often serve to slow down pace and, in many cases, even impede action from happening.
- Strong verbs make writing tighter. Weak verbs lead to longer, wordier writing. Strong verbs, on the other hand, help you create more concise sentences.
- Strong verbs convey a precise action. There’s no question in the reader’s mind whether a character wept, sobbed or wailed, because strong verbs paint the precise picture of what happened.