By Christine Thackeray
Thank you Kristine John for those words on PURGING. I've been trying to edit out over 25000 words out of my latest manuscript, and it's been painful! On that journey I've had many interesting conversations with my critique group. Yesterday I was talking to Julia Wagner who read me one of her paragraphs where she used the two phrases to replace the word looked -
She flicked her eyes back to the...
She brushed her gaze across the intricate carvings
Julia is queen of power verbs. She rarely just looks, walks or smiles which are common actions in my stories. I also have my characters nod and roll their eyes way too much.
Lately I've been on the prowl for good verbs that wake the reader up without throwing them out of the story. On the news this morning I heard them say that someone chose to "buck" the norm and "stemmed" the common trend- great verbs!
So I went back and chose some of my drab sentences-
“I know.” He walked back to their room frustrated.
Cath looked at him in shock.
Lindsay rolled her eyes and scowled.
The search for replacements has yielded sorry results. Here's my crack at using better verbage while maintaining the meaning.
"I know." He stomped back to their room and slammed the door.
Cath gaped at him as though he had three heads.
Lindsay tightened her lips until they were nothing but little slits across her face.
Okay, 'stomped, gaped and tightened'- not that great. I'd love to see some of you try. Hey, you brilliant word-smiths out there, how would you say those sentences better?