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Friday, January 19, 2018

Simple Changes Make A Difference

Word choice in a sentence can make a great deal of difference. A sentence can go from boring to bright and beautiful by changing words.

A few examples below. The A sentences have ordinary, or generic, words that tell us something but not a lot. The B sentences show us more and use better verbs. 

A.  Johnny lifted the barbell, breathing hard.
B.  Johnny hoisted the barbell, panting from start to finish. (this shows the effort he needed to do it)

A. The girls ran to the corner.
B.  The girls raced to the corner. (gives us the way they ran)

A.  Susan mixed the batter to get the lumps out.
B.  Susan beat the batter to get the lumps out. (tells us how she mixed)

A.  Peter looked into the old box.
B.  Peter peered into the dilapidated box. (peered and dilapidated are more interesting words)

A.  Ellen went into the swimming pool.
B.  Ellen dived into the swimming pool. (dived lets us see exactly how Ellen entered the pool)

A.  I ate my sandwich and ran out the back door.
B.  I devoured my sandwich and flew out the back door. (here, we see how hurried the person is)

When you edit those first drafts, search for the common verbs and replace them with more interesting, more active verbs that show the reader something. 

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