⚡ Use Active Verbs

And specific nouns.

Today’s Writing Tip:

Use active verbs and specific nouns to describe things in your story.


Verbs are useful for more than just motion. They can also be used to describe the placements of static objects. Active verbs make the description more specific and paints a better picture. For example:

  • Passive description: “The cat was on my bed.”

  • Active description: “The cat sprawled on my bed.”

Similarly, using specific nouns will also help you paint better pictures. A vague noun can mean many things. A specific noun conjures a specific image. For example:

  • Vague noun: “At the center of the table, there was a large wooden bowl filled with fruits.”

  • Specific noun: “At the center of the table, a dough bowl was overflowing with oranges and apples.”

Also notice how “overflowing with oranges and apples” is a much better descriptor than “filled with fruits”.

Want more in-depth writing advice? Join my 12-Day Prose Masterclass today!

First, you will learn the 6 building blocks of prose:

  • Show, Don’t Tell: How to paint a picture with your words.

  • Description: How to describe scenes and characters.

  • Narration: How to control story dynamics and manipulate time.

  • Dialogue: How to write realistic and interesting speech.

  • Action and Behavior: How to create movement in your story.

  • Rhythm and Flow: How to make your writing flow smoothly.

Then, to put what you learned to practice, I’ll teach you:

  • World, Setting, Tone: How to write believable settings.

  • The Narrative Question: How to keep readers interested with hooks.

  • Pacing: How to control the speed of your story.

  • Inner Journey: How to share your characters' thoughts and feelings.

  • Setup and Payoff: How to deliver satisfying endings.

  • Story Patterns: How to recognize and use common plot patterns.

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