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 errorsĀ 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?

New Series of Writing/Editing Blogs starting after Labor Day

I’ve worked in the editing/writing field for close to 30 years. I saw the old-fashioned way of getting a book, business article, academia work, technical report, newspaper, newsletter, poem, song published. Now, I’m using the new, rapid, technology-based Internet publishing through my company Clasid Consultants Publishing.

Whew! Hold the world still so I can get off! That’s how I felt at first. I just couldn’t see how the two disciplines could meet in the middle. There are pros and cons to both. But with a little work, imagination, and creativity, I realized you didn’t have to sacrifice the high quality of the slow, old-fashioned publishing process to the super-fast technology of the Internet. You can have both!

Starting after Labor Day (yikes! Next week!), I will be doing a series of blogs on how the old versus the new can be combined to best represent your literary achievements and especially, YOURSELF!

Some of these tricks of the trade are quick, easy fixes that can add so much to the finished product. Some are more involved, but still do-able for all authors, aspiring first-timers to seasoned authors who use to let the publishing house handle all the details. Don’t you want to be involved in the process every step of the way?
Control is a powerful tool, when you know how to use it.

Just like any other talent, writing must be studied, learned, practiced, and adjusted to fit your audience, your budget, and your timeframe. Maybe you’re writing the right stuff, but showing it to the wrong people. Maybe you’re spending money to make money, but you never make any money. Maybe it takes you too long to complete your writing project, or you’re writing it too fast and leaving out the formatting, proofreading, editing that is essential to getting the manuscript read. I’ll have some free helpful hints to aid you in your research, your preparation, and your publishing.

Please share my free class/blog with your friends, work associates, and even your family. After all, who supports you the most in any writing endeavor, but your family? Whether it is fiction, nonfiction, a resume, a dissertation, or a personal journal?

Don’t be afraid, and don’t give up. We can learn together as we go through this evolving process. Suggestions and comments are always welcomed.

Until next week, enjoy the Holiday and let’s get down to work . . . together.

DEBORAH A. BOWMAN, PUBLISHED AUTHOR, POET, SPEAKER, WRITER/EDITOR