Craft and Draft: To Be or not To Be – Intransitive vs. Transitive Verbs

A very informed and interesting article on verbs and how to use/avoid them to strengthen your writing.

Literature and Libation

When I write, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about verbs. I’ll often pause, mid-sentence, staring blankly into the distance, considering the way a verb sounds in combination with the surrounding words, its context in our language outside of the sentence I’m trying to use it in, and whether or not it captures the tone I want for a specific section. I’ve lost hours to mulling over and mashing specific words into verb shaped holes. I’ll sometimes swap in seven or eight synonyms looking for just the right verb, that one jumble of letters that makes the most sense logically, syntactically, and holistically.

So it comes as no surprise that when I edit a peer’s writing, the first thing I look at are verbs. I’ve noticed that a lot of writers tend to put emphasis on their adverbs and adjectives, trying to capture action, personality, and setting with exposition and direct description…

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