Good morning my toy-dustian friends!
It’s time for a writing tip.
Let’s pretend you’re writing a Toydust fan-fiction story. Because let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want to write a fan-fic about me? (insert sarcasm)
And let’s further pretend you had written something like:
“Toydust walked excitedly out of Dallas Vintage Toys, thrilled with his purchase.”
Is there anything wrong with the way this is written?
It’s a grammatically correct sentence, after all. At least according to my computer’s grammar-checker-underlining thing.
But let’s take a closer look.
When writing your stories it’s good to use verbs that give the reader a clear picture of what is happening. A verb that gives a clear picture of the action is often referred to as a strong verb.
The verb in our example sentence above is “walked” and it’s assisted with the adverb “excitedly.” So, does “walked excitedly” give us a clear picture of me coming out of the store?
I would say no because there are different ways a person could walk excitedly.
So what is a strong verb we could use to replace “walked excitedly” that would give the reader a more specific mental image?
What about “pranced?”
“Toydust pranced out of Dallas Vintage Toys, thrilled with his purchase.”
To prance means to have a leap in your step and is somewhere between walking and running. This gives us a more precise mental picture than “walked excitedly.”
And if people have a leap in their step, we can see they are excited. So if we use the verb “prance” there isn’t a need for the adverb “excitedly.”
Okay, now we have a verb that gives us a clear picture of the action, but what else happened as a result of this edit?
“Pranced” is one syllable. At least the way I say it. “Walked excitedly” is five syllables. Not only do we have a more specific mental image, but the sentence reads smoother with four less syllables to go through.
So, remember to choose strong verbs, and have fun writing your stories!