Verbs provide the energy and action of our sentences. They can make our writing powerful and vibrant, or flat and ordinary. Considering how important they are we often don’t give them the attention they deserve. Here’s an exercise I found, courtesy of respected author Beth Yahp, to create fresh ways of using them.
• Fold a sheet of paper in half lengthways.
• Write a list of ten nouns on one side.
• Turn over to the other column.
• Think of an occupation, eg. doctor, chef, baker, electrician. List fifteen verbs to describe the actions of that occupation.
• Open the page.
• Connect the nouns from one list with random verbs from the other to see what interesting combinations you can get.
• Make sentences using the most appealing combinations.
The heavy rain kneaded their umbrella.
She watched the white clouds prove on the horizon.
The waves slapped the rocks.
It’s not recommended you make every verb unusual or unexpected. You might decide simple verbs like go, saw, came, work better for you.
What’s important is that the verbs you use are a conscious choice.