Chapter 3: Verbs from Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale
“Verbs add drama to a random grouping of other words, producing an event, a happening, an exciting moment. They also kick-start sentences: without them words would simply cluster in suspended animation, waiting for something to click.”
One of the suggestions I read for writing fiction is to keep a diary. Among the entries should be a sentence a day. I usually enter about three sentences a week. I get side tracked.
What I like about Sin and Syntax is the ability to concentrate on certain parts of a sentence. It becomes so normal to speak or write a certain way that I forget what each word is to do. I take writing for granted.
How are words to perform? Someone told me in passing that they like the way I write, without adjectives. I think they meant it as a compliment, but I took it as if I had early onset dementia.
I went back and reexamined my writings, all the while asking myself how could I have excluded adjectives. I felt like saying smoothly and with distaste that I consider warm hot days with a cool breeze the most appealing when eating chocolate marshmallow ice cream. All of a sudden, for bad or for worse, I had longer sentences.
Elmore Leonard said, “Always say said after dialogue. Don’t use ‘he whispered,’ ” etc. Maybe I was on to something by not using adjectives or adverbs.
First I have to read about verbs in chapter 3. Adjectives are not until chapter 4. None of us gets through a writing without using verbs. “First I to the of chapter 3” doesn’t make sense.
Writing is hard work.