Saturday, September 24, 2011

Killer verbs

“Bond climbed the few stairs and unlocked his door and locked and bolted it behind him. Moonlight filtered through the curtains. He walked across and turned on the pink shaded lights on the dressing table. He stripped off his clothes and went into the bathroom and stood for a few minutes under the shower…He cleaned his teeth and gargled with a sharp mouthwash to get rid of the taste of the day and turned off the bathroom light and went back into the bedroom…

Bond gave a shuddering yawn. He let the curtains drop back into place. He bent to switch off the lights on the dressing-table. Suddenly he switched stiffened and his heart missed a beat.

There had been a nervous giggle from the shadows at the back of the room. A girl’s voice said, “Poor Mister Bond. You must be tired. Come to bed.”

(The one time, the simple past gives way to a perfect tense, was when Bond lost his control. He was suddenly made the object by the presence of that girl and hence the tense shift)

Verbs carry the action. Question every adverb. “She ate her soup noisily”. Or, "She slurped her soup"?


pooja said...

i read that the diff between a good adverb and a bad adverb is clear when you look at the sentences:

-she smiled happily.
-she smiled sadly.

the latter is an eg for a good one.

wordsmaid said...

Because there is something jarring between a smile and sadness. Opposites attract