Stop Feeling Your Way Around and @ValEmmich

Okay….writing tip first.

Sometimes I render my characters as helpless as Velma from Scooby Doo after she’s lost her glasses.

They are as blind as bats.  Experiencing and not doing.  They feel everything.

Examples?

I felt sick.
I felt his presence.
He felt angry.
It felt good.

You get the picture.  Lots of feeling. 

Felt is a weak verb.  It is the past tense of feel.  Basically…this is the rule.

**A verb which forms its past tense by adding –ed, -d or –t to the present tense, either with or without a change in the vowel sound, is called a weak verb. 
**A strong verb forms its past tense without adding an ending and does change the vowel sound.  Run, ran, drive, drove, arise, arose.


Thus…there are more than likely about a million weak verbs littering any first draft manuscript.
Example…
*She struggled to get away.
*She fought to get away. (gets rid of -ed verb, stronger)

*He was managing ten offices.
*He managed ten offices. (still an -ed verb, but sentence is concise and stronger.)

Look for -ed and -ing words and see if they can be rewritten to be more specific without changing the meaning of the sentence.  Sometimes it requires sentence restructuring to revise, but it will make your writing more concise and clear.

Now….there are times when a weak verb is a better choice.  But….only you can make that determination when revising..(unless you have a super editor that says yay or nay).  If you don’t have an editor, be sure you’ve cleaned up your work as much as possible before you send it to an agent.  They want to see strong verbs.

For me…felt is my nemesis.  I use it when I’m too lazy to think of an actual action for my characters…and I hate the lazy writer in me.  I rebuke her often.  But…that is what revision is for!

So..search your document using control + F…this brings up a search box that will find any word you type in it and also tells you how many times that word was used in the document.

Now….for the music that’s rockin’ my morning!

Check out Val Emmich….http://valemmich.com/ or Twitter handle @ValEmmich.  He’s been a nice little package of suprise for me today.  First….through his music and then, through his writing.  Check out his website and read his short story A Young Man’s Deer written in 2nd person.  Fabulousness.


He has an album coming out January 18th…give him your support. 

I’ve listened to this song over and over this morning while taking my kids to and from school with the volume cranked to a billion decibels.

I swear…if you listen to it twice, you’ll listen to it a hundred times.  Enjoy!!

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1 Comment

  1. Great post! I've been recently focusing on my own weak verbs. I never gave it much thought until my cp pointed out a few and yelled at me:)
    Great song, too!