Visual writing is a great way to draw readers into a story. In this opening story for Quest (first version), I therefore chose a scene in which two men travel through a rainforest in search of a rare substance that can cure malaria, but something goes wrong with my choice of verbs.
If you want to write visually, you also have to choose visual verbs. And I leave that behind. Take, for example, the choice for ‘walk’ in the first line. That’s a pretty unimaginative verb. It’s the first verb that comes to mind when characters move on foot, but it says little about exactly how they do it.
When you think of walking, you think of an office clerk walking from the train to work. Do the Englishman and Indian walk through the rainforest in the same way? Probably not. I can think of verbs that are a lot livelier and more appropriate.
Verbs are extremely important in paraphrasingtool.site because they portray how your characters behave. You immediately imagine a pose, a facial expression and perhaps certain cries they utter.
The advantage of lively verbs is that you don’t have to pull out all kinds of adverbs and subordinate clauses to evoke an image, as you should do in the following sentences.
If you want to draw your readers into a story, take a look to make sure your text doesn’t contain too many of these lifeless verbs. Below I mention 9 that I should avoid more often. Usually you can replace them with synonym that make your story more visual in one fell swoop.
Perhaps the ‘weakest’ verb there is. You indicate that your characters are somewhere, but exactly what they do is a mystery.
Debbie was in Spain. Visual writing? Then choose:
Debbie celebrated holiday in Spain
Almost as vague as ‘being’. Your character is developing, but exactly what he or she does is unclear.
Frank becomes a policeman. Visual writing?
Frank learns to be a cop.
People rarely stand alone. They watch passers-by, drink coffee, or eat an ice cream. Usually you can just omit standing and replace it with a more interesting verb.
John is in the kitchen.
But what should you, as a reader, imagine? And why is he there? There are so many livelier verbs you can use.
Jan leans against the kitchen table.
A vague way of saying someone is on their way.
Duke goes to school. But what exactly does that look like? Two examples of visual writing
Duco cycles to school
This verb can almost always be more expressive.
Mia walks down the street. But how exactly? Mia strolling down the stree
Frank looks out the window
Yes, we all look at things all day long. But how exactly? Be more specific.
Frank stares out the window
A verb that, like to be and become, often describes a ‘state’ in which someone is.
Franka is having fun
Franka is sleeping
Think what she looks like.
Franka dances, jumps and sings songs