Episode #72 – Spandex and Action Verbs

It’s the fifth Thursday! Time to check in with an acclaimed writer/teacher and hear what they have to say about writing.

In episode seventy-two of the Life Writers Vlog, we unravel the unlikely connection between spandex and action verbs.

On Jane Friedman’s blog, Deborah Williams, professor and author, wrote a post titled “What it Means to Make Your Story Relatable.”

In it, she writes, “Action verbs are like Spanx for your prose: they tighten, streamline, hold it all together; they provide visual cues that preclude the need for adverbs.”

I love that, and it’s so true.

Do you consciously reach for action verbs to show action or unconsciously choose state of being verbs? Share your process to root out these killers of lively prose in the comments section below.

Don’t currently have a process? Then, what could you do to systematically check your text to ensure you’re using the right verb for the job? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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Etya Krichmar
4 months ago

Grammarly reminds me of passive verbs when I ran the story through it.

4 months ago

I tend to write first drafts in a state of being mode. More and more I am aware of the difference with action verbs. I am pretty spontaneous and uncensured in delivering a story with detailed descriptions. A beleif lingering in the back of my mind is that I am not a good action or dialogue writer. It often times provokes bypassing dialogue. Action is closer to my understanding. Merci!

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