Faye Arcand, Faye E. Arcand, My Twisted Writer Brain…

Are You Still Using Lazy Verbs? My Top Ten List of Lazy Verbs

Are you using lazy verbs in your writing? I sure hope not because they’re boring and I know you can do so much better. 

As writers it’s up to us to ensure the narrative of our works, keep the reader turning the page. The best way to do that is to use active verbs to paint a picture, often with just one word. 

In my first drafts I often use lazy verbs but in the rewrite, change them so the text is more interesting to read. 

Being aware of the lazy verbs you use is half the battle and a thesaurus will help you out. Remember though, you’re looking at VERBS (action words) and not ADJECTIVES (describes a noun)

Here’s my Top Ten List of Lazy Verbs and some suggestions to kick them in the butt and get them more active. I know you can do it. 

LOOK —This is my most-used lazy verb. Let’s face it, the word is boring and shows the reader very little. Consider using: stare, gaze, peek… There are so many words to replace the overused look.

WALK —consider, strode, stomped, glided… All paint a picture for the reader without using the lazy verb.

RUN—how about using dash, dart, race… so much better. 

FIND—maybe use, discover, notice, unearth.

GO—perhaps a better word would be travel, escape, or vamoose. 

BRING—deliver, tote, carry.

TAKE— seize, grab, or clutch.

FEEL— sense, stroke, pinch.

SIT—relax, slouch, take a load off.

CLEAN—mop, scrub, blot.


The key is to be aware of which lazy verbs you use frequently in your writing and change them. Having a list is handy because you can easily do a search when you’re done with the first draft. 

I hope this tip works for you. Please share with your writer friends. It’ll help make everyone’s writing much more enjoyable to read. 

Thank you so much for stopping by.

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