Sue Burke (mount_oregano) wrote,
Sue Burke

Go Ahead — Write This Story: Strong writing

Readers and editors like strong writing, which consists of many things, among them a high verb-to-noun ratio. Verbs do things, and action means vigor. For example:

The result of the swarm of supervillains in Gotham City has been a situation of overwork for its superheroes and the consequent increase in unprevented and unsolved supercrimes.

One verb, nine nouns. Or this:

Swarming supervillains in Gotham City have overworked its superheroes, so supercrimes go unprevented and unsolved.

Two verbs, four nouns – and fewer words overall, which is always good. If you need a story for your verbs, here are a few ideas:

• This is a horror story about the ghosts of the victims of a terrible tragedy who agree to meet at the site one year later ... and a year has passed.

• This is a novel told from the point of view of a genetically experimental dog who lives for 500 years, and its different owners and adventures as the world changes.

• This is a highly allegorical story about a parliament of owls and their campaign to elect a prime minister.

— Sue Burke


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