When I photograph my family, my perpetual favorites are action shots. Here are a few choice ones from a trip to the eastern shore of Lake Michigan last summer.
I treasure them because they show what we did, not just where we went. But many times when I write, an apt action word escapes just when I need it as a best friend.
When I read, on the other hand, I marvel at the impressive and flawless word choices of other writers. And I scrunch up my jealous face because it appears effortless. It's not effortless, but the flowing so fluidly that it seems to be, that's what I'm chasing.
Last week I vowed to pocket pen and paper when I read. My oath: jot down riveting verbs. Verbs and their jolt caffeinate writing. So now I harbor a verb list. Small sampling of verbs I've collected: fume, jostle, anchor, flick, waft, rattle, swagger. When I'm writing, the list lies beside my computer, so if my mind numbs or freezes over, I glance at my verbs, find one that's just right, insert it, smile, and proceed writing.
Floating and cramming verbs through my brain transports them into my writing. What writing tricks have you discovered for finding words that are just right?