When you’re writing a novel, you want to use concrete, everyday verbs. Examples of these are jump, smile, run, look, show, and eat. You can picture the actions in your head and there is no ambiguity.
He ran down the street and jumped over the fence.
Replace weak or dead verbs with concrete verbs as often as possible. I say as often as possible, because there will be rare occasions when the weak or dead verbs are necessary.
Weak verbs usually end in ‘ate’ or ‘ize’. You know the ones. Some examples are finalize, incorporate, anticipate, categorize. They leave a vague sense of action without spelling it out. As a reader you have to reach for it, and these verbs can really way down your sentence.
The bookkeeper utilized her expertise to manipulate the numbers.
Dead verbs don’t evoke movement or images. They stop the action. They allow us…
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