One Writer’s Journey: Verbing

Cars chasing, crashing, exploding. Fireworks shooting, color splashing in the sky. A fire licking in the fireplace on a cold winter night.

Motion attracts us. I learned this early in my marriage, when I had to compete with a flickering television for my tired husband’s attention after a long day’s work. To be fair, he had to also compete for mine. 🙂

We writers can’t make words physically dance across the page. Or at least, not yet 🙂 For now we have to evoke motion with strong clean verbs.

Last month I talked about immediacy. Today I’m pushing (shoving forcing selling driving thrusting) verbs. I’m taking my example from Biting Me Softly, because it’s handy and I know how I changed it—and okay, because it’s coming out in paperback February 1 (bats eyelashes appealingly). “I” in this case is Liese, a girl-next-door computer geek. Logan is six-three of golden graceful vampire. They’ve just met but the attraction is instant and explosive.

 I squeaked, trembling between cold hard steel and hot hard Steel. My lips parted on a gasp and in that instant Logan’s mouth claimed mine.

His kiss was hungry, deep and driving, like he wanted to eat me to my toes. I was instantly on fire. I wrapped my arms around his neck, tried to fuse with his scorching strength to burn more. My breasts rasped against his thrust of chest, my nipples cinching. Logan’s fingers found the hard nubs, tightened around them like vises. Lightning bolts of need streaked through me. My respiration shot into overdrive. I swallowed a cry and arched into his palms. Logan’s fingers clamped harder. I shrieked.

Dropped, eat, fuse, and rasped are good strong verbs. I personally like squeak because it conveys character too. But I “was” on fire? Logan’s fingers “found” the hard nubs?

What verbs would you use instead? How about swept, grabbed, seized?

Fire swept my body, melting bones and muscles. I wrapped my arms around his neck to save myself from liquefying into a puddle of 10W-Liese at his feet. My breasts rasped against the thrust of his chest, my nipples cinched at the scorching heat. He grabbed my breasts two-handed, long fingers seizing the hard nubs and pinching them like vises.

What verbs would you choose? What are your favorites, and why?

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3 Responses to “One Writer’s Journey: Verbing”

  1. dphatgirl Says:

    Hi Mary! I finished reading this a week ago and – as with the previous books in this series – it was AWESOME!!! I love the outrageously corny puns – they’re what makes the series unique!!! I can’t shake the sad feeling that this might be the last in your “Bite” series. If so, it’s a damn shame. I would really miss the characters of Meiers Corners. But hey, congratulations on another fantastic book and I look forward to more “unputdownable” books from you.

  2. Mary Hughes Says:

    Hey, thanks! Unputdownable, I love that!

    Softly does feel like an ender (because of Ruthven), but it’s more a season finish than series end. I will round off the series but have at least three villains left, so there’s plenty more Biting Love to come!

  3. dphatgirl Says:

    That’s fantastic news!!! I completely forgot about Camille and Joe Brown! More Biting Love – woohooo!


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