Are you up for a challenge? Want to exercise your gray matter? Take a short piece of your own writing or someone else’s and try to eliminate all the “is words.” I bet the degree of difficulty and how it changes the writing will surprise you!
When we use “is, am, are, or was” we write passively. First, I instinctively wrote “Telling instead of showing is the hallmark of passive writing.” Instead I’ll offer that passive writing can suck the life out of even the most exciting story. When we tell instead of show it keeps our reader at arm’s length from the action. See how different that feels?
Action verbs bring writing to life. I started to write “It is action verbs that bring writing to life.” Many times the action verb already exists in the sentence and with a little reordering we can easily drop the “is” and punch up the writing. Most times, less really does say more!
Implementing this advice is difficult even for me! I left the last “is” in on purpose!
I could have written “You can see how even I struggle to implement this advice.”
I hope you take the challenge and enjoy warming up your word muscles. Remember awareness rocks and exercise ALWAYS makes a muscle stronger. ♥Caren
P.S. Share things you've learned along the way that make your writing better. LIVE YOUR DREAM COMMUNITY