3 Simple Ways to Cut Down the Fluff From Your Writing and Make It More Powerful
In this article, I focus on one skill you need to develop to make your writing better — the correct use of verbs.
Verbs are a crucially important part of each sentence, yet we don’t pay enough attention when we’re choosing them. Correctly picked verbs give your stories deeper meaning and make readers more engaged. Besides this, they help you keep your writing clean.
These three following tips help you write appealing stories that are free of fluff and get to the point better.
Avoid adverbs describing your verbs
We often choose to use a weak verb in combination with an adverb, instead of using strong verbs. This results in a story with too many adverbs ending in -ly, which sounds redundant and boring.
Thus, the stronger verb you use, the stronger your writing becomes. Just have a look at the examples below.
“He quickly took his coat.” Compared to “He grabbed his coat.”
“She was slowly walking around the house.” compared to “She was strolling around the house.”
Weak verbs in this context are general verbs do, make, take, go, walk, and so on. You can describe almost every situation with them because adding adverbs helps you adjust the meaning of verbs.
Don’t think you have to replace every adverb in every sentence, though. Sometimes, adverbs can give sentences a deeper meaning. When you say,
“Actually, that’s a good idea!” instead of “That’s a good idea!”, the adverb actually suggests that you thought about the idea and considered whether it was good or not.
But most of the time, strive for strong verbs.
Create verbs from nouns
Another way to create a powerful sentence is by creating a verb from a noun. It’s not working with every noun, but if there’s a noun that can be transformed into a verb, consider this option.
The verb has bigger power than a noun for one simple reason. While the noun names the action, the verb is the action itself.