Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Verb Repetition

Now that we've moved beyond using weak verbs, passive verbs, and any use of "to be," we can go on to the next thorn in my side: verb repetition.

Let's say you got assigned this picture to describe:
 
My nephew
 You  might write something like this:
I see a little boy. He wears a white shirt. He wears a sweater vest. He has reddish blond hair. He has his fist raised. He has blue eyes.
Here's the problem:
I see a little boy. He wears a white shirt. He wears a sweater vest. He has reddish blond hair. He has his fist raised. He has blue eyes.
There is no verb variety in this paragraph at all. Sure, I'm not using weak or passive constructions, but the paragraph still reads like a boring list because I have made no attempt to add variety. Variety is the spice of life, they say, and that definitely holds true when it comes to writing.

Your latest challenge when it comes to verbs? Try to only use a verb once in each paragraph. Twice if absolutely necessary. Forcing yourself to find new and interesting verbs, and using them only once, will definitely improve your writing.

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