Post #3 Can You See What I’m Saying? Paint a Clear Picture with Strong, Precise Verbs

157207223highHave you ever read something and thought, “Wow, I wish I had written that?”  I usually feel this way when I’ve read something where the writer used the precise, descriptive words to describe action, emotion, feelings, etc. And it’s usually the skillful use of powerful, pointed verbs that make the difference.

Content that contains  strong, precise verbs draw the reader into the story by representing the actions that  describe a scene.

“The sneer froze on William’s face and he paled.”—Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett

In this example, the writer could have used the words stayed and embarrassed instead of froze and paled. However, the verbs he chose paint a clearer picture and allows the reader to use his or her own imagination.

Using impactful verbs in content marketing writing has the same effect of drawing readers in as it does in fiction.

“Verbs are the most important words in a story, and the most important verbs are those that reflect the main theme. . . .” –Francis Flaherty, The Elements of Story

Examples of strong, precise Verbs

Verb Stronger/Specific   Verb
Run Bolt, hustle,   flee, dart, storm, jog, race, gallop, sprint, dash, scurry, continue, hasten,   drive, trot
Laugh Chuckle, giggle,   guffaw, snicker, cackle, chortle
Go, went Roam, stride,   roll, crawl, journey, amble, trudge, march, meander, creep
Fall Plummet, tumble,   coast, descend, plunge, glide
See Stare, gawk, gape,   snoop, seek, spot, gaze, witness, glare, spy
Take Grapple,   confiscate, snatch, capture, nab, seize, grasp, nab, steal, hijack
Give Ration, donate,   share, pass, deliver, proffer, hand

Whether you’re writing a white paper, article or a blog post, use strong verbs that carry the precise feeling or image you want to convey.

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)


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