Is A Kiss More Than That?


Is a Kiss More Than That?

Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

How mysterious writing remains.

In the beginning, most of us want to tell stories. And we pour our hearts into our tales, reveling in the act of creating, delighting in odd twists, and laughing at unexpected endings.

Then…something else sets in…curiosity about writing better, and we discover craft. And, like others before me, I wanted to make each word count. At some point I discovered strong verbs, and eventually made a little game of writing impromptu stories using verbs drawn randomly.

In that spirit, today’s strong verbs are: struggle, convey, resist, prove, nullify, disabuse, evoke, adhere, reap, and contrast.

Let us return to Tammy, a young tour guide in a mysterious Baron’s Chateau.


Rich, deep burgundy red carpet runners swallowed Tammy’s footsteps, capturing the half-formed echos while the fine wool sprang back, erasing all hint of her passage. Where did this journey lead? Had she no will to deny her fate?

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Faceoogle Wants To Know


Faceoogle Wants to Know

Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

Read about a staring contest with a cat.

Four years ago I set out to become a serious writer. And one hallmark of good writers is use of strong verbs in place of weaker verb propped up by adverbs. Through the magic of the internet, found a list of 179 strong-verbs, and elected to make a game of it.

Today, we build a story using ten randomly chosen strong verbs: act, forge, contradict, evaluate, solidify, appear, distort, legitimate, rebut, and recreate.

And we turn again to Janet, our urban witch, where she fights for privacy.


Fluffy, wet snow fell, soft and mesmerizing. Janet hugged herself, willing herself to act, to move from the window, to face the sins of waiting until the last-minute to file, not that she’d experienced any great joy or grand adventure, for dread ever lurked at the corners, waiting.

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Fear In The Bright Sunshine


Fear In The Bright Sunshine

Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

Read about Tammy, standing in the snow, pondering her future.

I adore writers with vocabularies a little larger than mine, but not so much larger that I’m constantly tapping on my Kindle screen. Ha.

So, once again, I’m writing another story with strong verbs, using them in the random order drawn from a list of 179: neglect, argue, struggle, attract, undergo, involve, experience, suffer, fuse, and encourage.

And we turn to our heroine, Tammy, who traveled to far-off France, and, on a fling, took a summer job as a tour guide at a mysterious chateau. But summer passed into winter and she remains.


Tammy paused in the grand curves of the archway, and smoothed down the satin jacket over her own curves. Beyond, in the bright, cobble stone courtyard, sunlight glinted off puddles as small birds hopped about, seeking what they might devour. And, with the Count just returned from wintering in Majorca, she could only wonder how long he would continue to neglect her.

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Sorrows And Purrs


Sorrows And Purrs

Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

Read about a daring costume.

I started this little game with Strong Verbs in November, 2013, four and a half years ago.


But I think I’m reaching the end of the list.

I’ve vague notions of revisiting them, but I’m not sure to what end.

Anyway, here are the rules for my little game.  And here are today’s words — Exacerbate, Comprise, Create, Highlight, Demonstrate, Differentiate, Disappear, Value, Refute, and Base.

And our leading lady is Janet, a white witch.


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Tan Lines


***Trigger Warning***

***Not Safe For Work***

Inspired by a recent prompt on Scribophile, I elected to try my hand at two things I’d not attempted before — Second Person, and Imperative Style.

True confession — I had no clue how to write Second Person, and I’d never heard of an Imperative Style. In desperation, I googled both, asked lots of questions in the group, and found this.

With Second Person, I try my best to draw readers into the story as a direct participant. I don’t mean First or Third Person where we experience all that our narrator experiences. Instead, we become that other character. And that took some doing.

Imperative writing assumes each sentence starts with a command or instruction. In the most simple form, it might read something like this — Get up. Walk across the room. Open the door.

Pretty dry, isn’t it?

So, why the trigger warning?

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Rewrite? Scene Blocking


Rewrite?  Scene Blocking

Or, Who Does What to Whom?

Read about an Action Scene template I used.

Are we there yet?

Until these rewrites, I would have answered yes.

In prior writing, I wrote with the completed Scene Template I mentioned last time. But, completing the template to plan a scene didn’t answer my need for a blow-by-blow description. And then I recalled a white-board kind of tool, Scapple, and discovered a new use for it.

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Rewrite? Scene Templates


Rewrite?  Scene Templates

Or, Painting By Number

Read about using South Park’s BUT — THEREFORE to arrange scenes.

True confession time.I wrote the entirety of my first serious WIP, all 84 scenes, with no clear idea how to structure a scene.

That said, I wasn’t completely helpless. I’d read Jack Bickham’s excellent Scene and Structure, where he’d coached me in the 4P’s of a scene opening, the back-and-forth between the POV character and the scene antagonist, and the POV character’s eventual defeat.

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