Strong writing is what lures in editors at first and then attracts readers. Without strong, solid, potent writing, your work will be nothing more than flowery prose that no one will bother to wade through. This one simple trick below explains how to edit your writing and boost its strength:
Cut out adverbs and replace the adverb-verb combination with a stronger word.
Yep, it's really that easy. That's it. Here are a few examples to illustrate how this rule applies to making your writing stronger:
3) Her wings
(Having trouble reading what those crossed out ones say? Number 1 is 'said softly,' Number 2 is 'danced crazily,' and Number 3 is 'lifted delicately.)
Notice how you're saving space while boosting the flow of your writing. Flow is what keeps your paragraphs going, what helps sentences blend into each other to create a seamless piece. In order to establish this wonderful flow that keeps readers hooked, cutting out adverbs and replacing the adverb-verb combination with a stronger word is absolutely necessary.
Take a look at the examples again and notice how the writing was made stronger. For number one, I didn't try 'she whispered softly.' For number two, I didn't try 'she shimmied crazily.' Instead, I took out the adverbs completely. Adverbs can be a waste of space when used in the wrong way--of course, sometimes, they can aid your writing, so you don't have to be totally merciless when slashing them out of the pages of your manuscript, but it's a great tip to stick to. If you see an adverb attached to a verb, try to replace the combination with one stronger word in your mind. If you're having trouble, the dictionary and thesaurus are great resources for referral.
Of course, while this tip may be the most helpful technique you've ever come across if you're an accomplished, expert writer, but it may be a little difficult to use if you're an amateur or novice. Instead of jumping into your writing and editing out all the adverbs right away, why not try some practice? Get into the habit of finding strong verbs, and soon, you'll be able to edit your manuscript/article with a practiced eye.
Now, I'm a very nice blogger. I want only the best for my readers. And if you're going to get somewhere with this tip, practice is crucial. Here are three quick questions where you transform the adverb-verb combo into a stronger verb:
1) What is a stronger verb for cried loudly?
2) What is a stronger verb for jumped lightly?
3) What is a stronger verb for walked gracefully?
So there you have it--my one simple trick to make your writing stronger. If you enjoyed this article, I'd love for you to spread the word about it through Twitter, Facebook, or whatever else you choose. And if you're interested in leaving a comment...
Have you used this tip in your own writing? If not, do you think you're going to try it out? What do you like and dislike about this technique? What advice do you have for authors struggling to make their writing stronger? Leave a comment and let us all know!