Creative Writing Tips on Action Verbs #7: Strong Verbs & Verb Music

God I’m such a sorry sport! Four days since my last blog. Can you believe it? And I thought things would calm down in my home.

I won’t bore you with the details. But let’s get on with creative writing on action verbs #

Creative Writing Tips on Action Verbs #7: Strong Verbs & Verb Music

Strong verbs also evoke the music of words. When choosing verbs, discern with your inner ear: do the sounds of the words carry the meaning and mood you want to convey? Is it melody or discord that you hear? Do the verbs stimulate this word music for readers?

Look again at the description of the brewing storm in the previous section (Creative Writing Tips #6: excerpt from In Memoriam by Alfred Lord Tennyson). Feel the intense vigor of the verbs, hear the roar of the music. Compare it to the following example, where the verbs march to a different beat, a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of exuberant activity:

But as soon as the Mariner, who was a man of infinite-resource-and-sagacity, found himself truly inside the Whale’s warm, dark, inside cupboards, he stumped and he jumped and he thumped and he bumped, and he pranced and he danced, and he banged and he clanged, and he hit and he bit, and he leaped and he creeped, and he prowled and he howled, and he hopped and he dropped, and he cried and he sighed, and he crawled and he bawled, and he stepped and he lepped, and he danced hornpipes where he shouldn’t, and the Whale felt most unhappy indeed.
(From Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling)

Want to learn more about the music of words? Go to Word Music.

1 Comment

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One response to “Creative Writing Tips on Action Verbs #7: Strong Verbs & Verb Music

  1. Pingback: Creative Writing Tips on Action Verbs #7: Strong Verbs & Verb Music « mjyaedgy

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