07 May 2009

[meme] Ten First Verbs (again)

Here's one for the writers out there:

The task is simple: open your current/newest writing project and then list the FIRST TEN VERBS which appear in that project.

I learned this trick/game back in college when a writing prof was trying to drive home the point of active aggressive forceful writing versus limp and lazy passive writing. If you do this and find yourself listing a bunch of "is" and "are" and "seems" and such, maybe it's time to go back and turn up the heat and add some more sizzle,

I have a new project I just started toying with, and as usual I like to scribble out an opening and closing scene to help me nail the tone and the possible trajectory of the story. I have a handful of opening pages done, and here are the first ten verbs (so far):

shushing

looking

copy

coming

roars

banking

angle

looks

skims

lifting


Not as shabby as it might have been, but I know this will improve as I actually work on this. Still, it's a fun and (often) useful easy trick to use on your own writing.
.
.
.
B

5 comments:

Thomas Crymes said...

You're trying to expose me for the hack writer that I am:

fills
turns
cries
roar
is
crashes
hisses
brands
leaps
blankets

Third World Girl said...

beats
sprawls
hustle
weigh
jostles
oozes
holds
keep
thrusts
takes

fun exercise. thanks.

Cathy Krasnianski said...

juggles
navigates
drums
stares
points
signals
points
shakes
hanging
grabs

Makes you stop and think.

Emily Blake said...

bob
reflects
slithers
enters
disappears
strolls
is
kneels
pulls
turns over

Not too bad. You have to use "to be" at some point.

japhy99 said...

Hmm: fills, grind, drink, wait, weaves, is, moves, make, turn, lies...