What Are Strong Verbs?

Good morning my toy-dustian friends!

Guess what I think?

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Okay.

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!

Toydust out!

 

NEXT POST: IS THERE SOMEONE NEW JOINING THE TOYDUST.COM TEAM?

FIND OUT TOMORROW!

 

 

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