Writing Tutorial – Keys to Give Power to your Writing
The problem of WRONG VERBS, and HIDDEN VERBS
Many people do not realize that verbs are the slingshots of IDEAS. Wrong verbs can KILL enthusiasm just as bad-smelling food can turn off ravenous hunger. Think of the verb as the fulcrum. In diagrammatic form, it is the darkest overlapping piece where three color circles overlap. [Diagram courtesy of http://sultanzeydan.edublogs.org/]
Verbs create action, direction, and power. If the verbs are wrong, the action goes nowhere. Great messages, but with wrong verbs, have no bang. It really pays to stop and think about the verbs we intend to use. How we write, just as how we speak, communicates who we are.
Writers are wordsmiths, and words are their tools; it is then necessary that they exercise their craft daily! I regularly scrutinize how others say things, how they write down their ideas, the pictures their words form, and the effect they have on me.
Also, when we change verbs into NOUNS they “go into hiding”. Verb cover-ups are awful; need multiple other verbs to explain meaning, and invite a host of useless added words to shepherd the awkward sentence.
We should make it a fun exercise to spot the “hidden verbs”, they usually have endings such as: -ion, -ent, -ing, -nce
Here are some examples I picked up from a recent editing job:
- “The production of the car was required before it could be sold” [Hidden verb: produce. Wrong verb: require]. With three fewer words we can write: “they needed to produce the car before selling it”
- “The means of calculating the calories on my recipe was what enabled me to sell it” [Hidden verb: calculate. Wrong verb: enable]. With six fewer words we can write: “I sold my recipe because I calculated its calories”
- “He claims they have failed to uphold the true scripture by presenting images as an educational means” [Hidden verb: present. Extra unnecessary verbs: failed, have, claims]. With four fewer words we can write: “He believes that those who present images educationally do not uphold the scripture”
- “The Anabaptists viewed Zwingli’s joining with the state as undermining to God’s authority” [Hidden verbs: undermine, and join. Wrong verb: viewed]. With one less word we can write: “The Anabaptists believed Zwingli undermined God’s authority when he joined the State”
Write from your own heart with passion; revise for an audience with perseverance.
[editing, publishing, ebooks, ghost-writing]