12 Verbs that Ooze with Purpose

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.

to encourage 

literally, to increase the courage of someone

to exhort

to urge fervently, usually directed to someone with lower position or wisdom than you

to beseech

to beg fervently, usually directed to someone with more power and resources than youpexels-photo-256798

to reconcile

to make peace – peace between two conflicting parties, or peace in your own mind between two conflicting ideas

to coax

to manipulate with subtle—often undetected—persuasion

to lambast

to criticize with the intent to smear and demean

to overawe

to intimidate not by frightening someone, but by making their jaw drop

to demonize

to portray someone or something as evil (perhaps to make others abandon it, or to justify hating something)

to exploit

to use and benefit from something or someone without any intention of giving back

to mitigate

to lessen the negative effects of something

to vindicate

to prove innocent and clear blame

to allay

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!

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