Best Practices in Writing by Mary Catherine Rishcoff Article 5

by | Jun 18, 2019 | Entry | Blog writing competition | 0 comments

      When writing on the best practices in writing, one would do well to remember the use of verbs. Verbs are vital to the composing of a literary work. Like adjectives and adverbs, verbs serve to add color and luster to a story. The better the quality of verbs used in a literary work, more than likely, the greater the quality of a story produced. Note that it takes verbs to properly relate ideas, thoughts and other information in a story form.

      Also, note that the correct usage of verbs can be quite complicated, hence a broad definition of a verb serves to start the discussion on the use of verbs as a best practice in writing. Essentially, a verb is a word used to describe an action. It is a word used to describe a state or occurrence, also. It forms the main part of the predicate of a sentence, however a grammar lesson is not the intent of this article on the best practices in writing. There are additional meanings applied to verb, but these other definitions will not be the topic of this article, also.

      For the purposes of this article, a verb as a word of action will be discussed. Some examples of a verb as a word of action include dance, swim, and cry. Note that these words can be nouns, also. The usage in a sentence distinguishes whether the word is a verb or a noun. Verbs can stand alone to form sentences. Dance and play are two examples of verbs that can be used alone in the forming of a sentence, but by no means the only ones.

      Let us consider how that a verb can add color and luster to a literary work. For example, the describing of the ball rolls as opposed to the ball moves in a sentence is more descriptive of the action of the ball. The word rolls is a more detailed verb than the word moves. Another example would be using the words the girl shed tears as opposed to simply using the words the girl cried. Like the ball rolls, the girl shed tears is more descriptive, hence there is more color and luster added to a story with their use.

      For further examples of the usage of verbs, I cite some verbs from my children’s storybook, The Treetop, the Wind, and the Balloon. Instead of writing it was very tall, I use it stood very tall. Once again, stood is more descriptive. Instead of using a zephyr blew through the treetop, I use a zephyr rustled through the treetop.

      Similarly, the use of the verb rustled as opposed to blew is more descriptive. Both the choices of verbs stood and rustled give more details to the actions occurring, hence there is added color and luster to the story. Of course, action verbs are not the only kind of verbs useful in the writing of a quality literary work. However, action verbs can make a difference in the clarity of the ideas, thoughts and other information conveyed in a story.

      To expand on verbs, note that there are verbs known as non-action verbs. These verbs are verbs that describe a state of being, emotion, possession, sense or opinion. A physical verb is an action verb that describes action done by the body or, perhaps, a tool. Mental verbs refer to verbs that are used to describe a cognitive state. Discovery, understanding, thinking, and planning are cognitive states described by mental verbs. There are linking verbs, helping verbs, transitive action verbs, intransitive action verbs and more kinds of verbs in the English language. Surely, an author can find suitable verbs in the composing of a literary work with so many kinds of verbs existing. Although this article is not meant to be a grammar lesson on verbs, it does effort to present the importance of the usage of verbs as a best practice in writing.

      Also, I would like to point out that without verbs a story could not exist. Verbs make for the reality of the story. As noted previously, some verbs can stand alone to make sentences, whereas nouns cannot stand alone to form a sentence. Nouns require verbs to be made into sentences, such as the clown laughed wherein the clown is the noun and laughed is the verb. Simply stated, a clown as used in the sentence the clown laughed is not used as a verb, hence cannot create a sentence by itself. The relevance of the usage of verbs to creating a literary work is paramount.

      In conclusion, the use of verbs as a best practice in writing is quite complicated, just as is their usage in composing a quality literary work. There are many kinds of verbs in the English language. Each kind serves a purpose in creating a quality literary work. However, because most children are so very active, perhaps, action verbs would serve best in writing children’s stories. Also, verbs make for a sense of reality in a story. Verbs can add color and luster to the literary work. Without verbs a literary work would not exist. So, choose your verbs wisely to convey the desired ideas, thoughts and information in a story.


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