Last Word

Awesome blossoms with verbs


“The earth laughs in flowers.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Flickr: NCDOTcommunications

When it comes to writing a scene, one of the most important things a writer can do is to bring that moment to life for the reader. It can be very tempting to pull out a thesaurus and scatter our pages with as many incredible, amazing, super-descriptive adjectives that we can find. But there is another way to add some sizzle to your prose – and it all comes to down to verbs.

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Verbs are moving, grooving words that can breathe life into a scene for a more powerful storytelling. They allow a writer to paint an image that is active and alive. Emerson could have easily described the flowers as beautiful or fragrant or purplish. And that would have been fine, but instead he chose to attach vibrant imagery to the flowers and the earth.

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Think for a moment what it looks like for the earth to laugh in flowers. Does the image change for you to say that the “earth laughs in wildflowers”? Taking it further, what aspects of nature can be associated with the earth as it cries? Smiles? Snickers? Snorts or chuckles?

Wake up your prose today by switching out adjectives for verbs and then sit back and watch how that small change transforms the feel and flair of your writing.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at

Kerri S. Mabee

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