By: Sarah Stone
One of the best ways to spice up any travel blog is to use powerful verbs. Weak verbs, such as “ran” or “said,” or other commonly used verbs you’d find in a children’s book, don’t lend the kind of sensory details you would want particularly when sharing a story on your travel blog. Strong, powerful verbs like the ones you see below allow your reader to immerse himself into your writing, delighting in the story and picturing everything as though he were right there with you.
To help you improve an area of your writing that often goes unnoticed, but that is incredibly important for storytelling, we have developed a short exercise to use powerful verbs. Identify and eliminate the bad verbs in the following sentences, then rewrite each sentence using a different word from the word bank—or any better ones that may come to mind.
Word Bank of Descriptive Verbs:
Shriek Linger Sprint Abscond Meander
Writhe Prowl Squat Peel Smash
Plunge Strut Catapult Fabricate Ascend
Sentences with Weak Verbs
1. After robbing the bank, Rosie left town with the money.
2. I climbed to the top of the pole and took the ham.
3. The ambassador sat at the table.
4. I yelled in alarm when the car went over the cliff.
5. She walked through the crowded marketplace.
As you write new stories later, something I’ve always found helpful is to get the basic thoughts on paper as quickly as possible, as weak as the writing may be, walk away for a day or so, and then revisit with with my editor’s cap on. Try it and see how it works for you – and for more advice on editing your own work, check out this post.