Recently, we highlighted a few “lazy” verbs—verbs that, as you are trying to articulate your character’s objective, fail to cast a clear idea of the goal. Acting on a vague verb will result in a vague scene. Digging out the ol’ thesaurus and finding a specific verb is not about showing off your vocabulary–remember, this is only for you, anyway–it’s about painting a clear picture of a clear purpose.
It’s like the difference between saying “I am going to try to get stuff done today” and “At 2:15, I am going to snake the shower drain.” Which plan is more likely to result in an unclogged tub?
So, without further ado, here is a smattering of verbs to jumpstart your verbing quest.
literally, to increase the courage of someone
to urge fervently, usually directed to someone with lower position or wisdom than you
to beg fervently, usually directed to someone with more power and resources than you
to make peace – peace between two conflicting parties, or peace in your own mind between two conflicting ideas
to manipulate with subtle—often undetected—persuasion
to criticize with the intent to smear and demean
to intimidate not by frightening someone, but by making their jaw drop
to portray someone or something as evil (perhaps to make others abandon it, or to justify hating something)
to use and benefit from something or someone without any intention of giving back
to lessen the negative effects of something
to prove innocent and clear blame
to lessen one’s fear or worry
Do any of these verbs apply to the script you are working on right now? I’d love to hear what other verbs you find helpful to you!