Creative Choices

E. Tip of the Day: Try to avoid using the same word twice in one sentence, or in the same paragraph, if possible. Be creative in your word choices, especially when using verbs.

Example A: She walked to the store and then walked home.

Revision: Sarah went to the store to pick up the needed items to make brownies, then completing her task walked home.

With the revision, it’s much easier for the reader to visualize what the character is doing. The reader doesn’t need to see the inside of the grocery store unless it’s integral to the plot.

Example B: He drove to work, stepping on the gas to get there on time. When he parked, he stepped out of the truck and went up the steps.

Revision: Michael slid into his 4X4 truck, put the vehicle in gear and stepped on the gas. He was late for work again. Speeding through traffic, he was in the parking lot of his office in no time. Jumping out of the truck, he ran up the stairs to the large glass doors of the building adjusting his tie before going inside.

The revision gives the reader a sense of who the character is by showing the details of his day. He was late for work. How did he react? Instead of calling to say he was running late, he sped to work. He’s a character willing to take a risk, but not too great a risk to jeopardize his job.

There also isn’t any redundancy of verbs so the reader isn’t bored. Instead, they are constantly learning about Michael’s character.

Happy Revising!

4 thoughts to “Creative Choices”

  1. Great examples. I do like how you get a better glimpse of the character by adding a few details to a simple drive to work.

  2. The grammar is wrong in the revisions. “Ing” verbs imply simultaneous action. One can’t jump out of a truck and run up stairs at the same time, or speed and be in a parking lot. I mean, you could speed and be in a parking lot and maybe crash into other cars, but I don’t think that’s the intent of the sentence. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the catch, Nina. That’s the glory of writing on the seat of your pants. You don’t always catch everything before posting. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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