Looking Closely at Words

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Some great writing tips by Donn Taylor over at AuthorCulture


W.H. Auden describes a poem as a verbal contraption, and the same is true of any written work. The writer has an idea important enough to tell other people, and the only way he can communicate that idea is through a contraption made out of words. And since words are all we writers have to work with, it behooves us to pay attention to everything about them, including small details.


In this blog I will review a few basics about words. Readers have probably heard these before, but it never hurts to review the basics again.

First, it’s no surprise that some words are stronger than others. In general, verbs are stronger than nouns, nouns are stronger than adjectives, and adjectives are stronger than adverbs. That’s why writing guides suggest that the first step in strengthening a body of writing is to delete all the adverbs that are not vital to the meaning.


One way to strengthen a sentence is to put the main idea in the verb rather than in a noun. Here is an example modeled on a lesson from the non-defunct Famous Writers School:

Read the rest of Donn’s article at AuthorCulture


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