Verbs are the combustible material of the language; they create the action; they invigorate the writing and move the sentences forward. And active verbs are almost always preferable to weak ones. You know, the ones that leave you treading water in a “to-be” passive rubber raft. Or the ones that attempt (insufficiently) to shore up weak adjectives by adding an “ly.” Not that we have anything against either of these—there are worse things than “sentences that include “it was,” or “I am,” or “there are.” “Adverbs can be our friend, too,” she said pleasantly. But if writers want their sentences to light up the page, then there’s work to be done.
In this two-hour workshop participants will learn to identify passive language that slows down the story, when to call out the “was” police, and how to search out “ly” endings and what to do about them. We’ll discuss examples from other writers and do some writing exercises or our own that invite breaking a few rules and playing with language—all in the service of creating more lively writing.
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