Those Pesky Verbs! Do You Want to Risk the Challenge?

Ever feel overwhelmed by your manuscript? The hard work begins when the writing is done!

Editing is a fine art which allows a fresh pair of eyes to see what is really there. Your own eyes will play tricks on you. Illusions Abound!
Editing is a fine art which allows a fresh pair of eyes to see what is really there. Your own eyes will play tricks on you. Illusions Abound!

Pesky Verbs by Deborah A. Bowman

I’m so tired, my eyes are burning.

The story I wrote, however, is always yearning

For my attention and serious redemption.

How can I read it with total absorption

And miss the verb errors I didn’t even see?

So what about those “Pesky Verbs”?

After all, verbs are just words,

And I’ve written so many of those …

Lush descriptions and philosophical debates

In my character’s mind, but wait …

If it’s in my mind, has it already happened?

Or is it happening now, real-time reckoned?

But that’s in my psyche, not in my Protagonist.

Only with “verbs” can you defeat the Antagonist.

Does my character “see” or was it “seen” prior?

Was there a “fire” blazing or was someone “fired”?

Only the verbs move the story forward.

Without active verbs there would be boredom.

Those passive verbs don’t portray action, but what does that even mean?

I’m back to “did they see” or “was it seen”.

And what about “They saw it”?

When, why, how, how often, “the fire was lit”;

“They’re lighting the fire”. Now what do they “see”?

“Did they see”; “what someone saw”; “what was seen”?

First person present, third person past; is there even a second tense?

Of course there must be or there wouldn’t be a third tense.

Confusion, illusion reigns supreme

When all you want is for your story to be “seen”;

Now a past tense verb points to the future.

But I’m back to the premise, it’s just a word.

40,000 to 100,000 make a nice book,

But the printed inkspots have to work

With each other, in tandem, in consistency.

Think about the tense when you begin.

Try to stay true to it as much as you can.

If random thoughts are only in one character’s mind,

It’s like dialog. Yes? First person, present tense, okay fine!

Or do you have to guess?

Time for an editor, I would suggest

To bring those “Pesky Verbs” to rest.

Editing, past, present. What does the future hold?
Editing, past, present. What does the future hold?

8 thoughts on “Those Pesky Verbs! Do You Want to Risk the Challenge?

  1. This is one of the best grammar lessons ever…

    I’ve nominated you for the Creative Blogger Award. If you have an award free zone please accept this award as a statement of appreciation for your work.

    RG

    Like

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