Pumping “I Ran”: Verbs Going Viral

Pushing adverbs (quickly, slowly) into verbs (walked, drove) pumps up the sentences in a revision. “Walked slowly” becomes “lumbered” or “strolled” while “drove quickly” becomes “zoomed” or “skittered” and so on. Take those ordinary verbs and those excess adverbs and mix.

Now Deanna Carlyle has shared her list of 1,000 verbs, and I’m going to guess that this one will “go viral.” There’s something about verbs. What can I say? They keep things moving. So shake up your writing and check this out. Then come up with your own 1000 verbs, hey?


She’s got another great write-up about improving your descriptions. My students are deep into editing their books, and this week, we are working on sentences. I love this part of revision. Your cursor (or your pencil) becomes a scalpel, incising this word, then a needle, appending that. Relief: that first draft really can transform. The wrong words hold place for the right ones, the weak hang out until the strong can be found.

Anyway, I think she’s got some good tips and some great examples:


My monthly writing tip will be going out in the next week or so, and it’s going to be about sentences. If this sounds as enticing as chocolate or a foot massage or breakfast in bed, you are the person to whom I am writing. Sign up over to the right where it says, “Get Monthly News!”

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