1. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    List of good action verbs, listed by action, help out

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by architectus, Oct 5, 2008.

    List of action verbs.

    It’s all about verbs. This will be an ongoing project. Feel free to add to the list, and if you do so, please write the action in which it belongs to.

    Example entry.

    Action: SLOW – Glided, lingered.

    If those are the two words you thought of. Please make sure the word is not already in the list. I will check here often and add your words to the list. If you need to make a new category, please do so.

    Words in green, I feel are weak, not bad, just weak. Meaning they do not produce as strong a feeling, but that might be good in many cases. They night not produce clear imagery in the mind’s eye.

    Words in red, I feel are strong, and paint a good image in the mind’s eye.

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    Action: SLOW

    Crawled, crept, dragged, glided, inched, lazyed?, lingered, lurched, lurked, moused, plodded, prowled, pussyfooted, retarded, snaked, slacked, slid, slinked, slither, slothed?, slowed, sluggish, sneaked, snooped, snuck, tapered, tip-toed, wormed,

    Action: WALK

    Advanced, approached, followed, footed, hiked, marched, paced, patrolled, pranced, roamed, romped, stepped, skipped, stalked, , stomped, strode, strolled, strutted, trailed, traveled, traversed, treaded, waddled, waded, walked, wandered, wobbled

    Action: RUN, MOVE FAST

    Accelerate, barreled, blasted by, blurred, bolted, charged, chased, cheeta’ed? Lol, crashed through, dashed, darted, flashed, fled, flew, flung by, galloped, glided, hasted, hurried, hustled, jerked, jetted, jogged, passed, pelted, plowed, plunged, pounced, pressed, proceeded, propelled, pummeled, pushed forward, pushed on, raced, rammed, ran, rocketed, rushed, sailed, scampered, scooted, scrambled, scurried, scuttled, shoved, skedaddled, stampeded, speeded, spurted, sprinted, sprung, streamed by, thrust, traced, trotted, whisked, zipped, zoomed

    Action: SAW, LOOK

    Admired, awed, beamed, beheld, detected, eyed, focused, gaped, gawked, gazed, glanced, glared, goggled, looked, narrowed, observed, peeked, peered, perceived, riveted, saw, scanned, sighted, spied, spotted, squinted, stared, studied, surveyed, undressed (with eyes), viewed, watched,

    Action: Facial Expressions (emotions)

    Bawled, beamed, blank faced, breathed, cackled, chuckled, contorted, cried, flexed brows (jaw), frowned, giggled, glowered, Grimaced, grinned, jaw dropped, laughed, mocked, mouthed, mugged, narrowed eyes, pinched brows (forehead), pursed lips, pouted, puckered, raised brows, rolled eyes, scowled, screamed, scrunched (Forehead, lips, face, brows, nose), sighed, smiled, smelled, smirked, snarled, sneered, squawked, squinted, squinched, unreadable, wept, wrinkled nose (eyes, face, nose, forehead, etc), yelled,

    Action: Sit, lay

    Laid, napped, perched, reclined, relaxed on, rested on, roosted, sat, settled, squatted, stretched out on,

    Action: Rise, get up.

    Arose, ascended, catapulted, emerged, launched up, lifted, mounted, raised, rose, soared, sprung, stood,

    Action: Set down, pick up.

    Deposited, dropped, dumped, laid, flung down, grabbed, hurled down, picked up, placed, plucked, put, seized, set down, snatched, threw down, took, tossed (down, on), yanked,

    Action: Grab

    Abducted, clamped, clinched, clutched, confiscated, gathered, grabbed, grappled, grasped, gripped, held, nabbed, plucked, possessed, secured, seized, snatched, took, vised?

    White knuckles is a good way to show grabbing something tightly.

    Action: Throw, be thrown

    Cast, catapulted, chucked, flicked, flipped, floored, flounced, flung, heaved, hurled, hurtled, launched, lobbed, pelted, pitched, plunged, projected, propelled, slung, threw, thrown, tossed (over hand tossed), whirled,

    Other verbs that need to be put into categories.

    Crouched, hunched, kneeled, jutted, hung, hung limply, hedged
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could just as well use a thesaurus. But the same caveat applies to both: if you don't really know the verb well, including the subtle shades of meaning, don't use it! You won't make the writing sound better in that case.

    For an online thesaurus, try: http://thesaurus.reference.com/. Proceed with caution.
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Cog true, but the thesaurus doesn't have all these words under one listing. I guess what I am trying to do is put together a subject thesaurus. Hopefully people will remember cool words from novels they have read and add to it. As I come across more, I will add them as well.

    For instance type run into that thesaurus. Scroll down to verb. There is a long list of mostly not helpful words. And a lot of the words I listed are not there.
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker New Member Contributor

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    I agree, the use of a thesaurus generally yields nothing helpful, which is why I don't consult it. This however is great. I was actually wondering if there was a book that tackled writing in a similar vain, listing all the possible variations for a broad verb...

    Keep this one up! and make a book out of it while you at it.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Thanks Joker. If you think of any words to add, post them please. Also, I want to add verb phrases as well.

    Things that stood out in my mind like, The cig jutted from his mouth.
     
  6. Last1Left
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    Last1Left New Member

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    For facial expressions, instead of pinched brows, furrowed brows would do. Also, the verb contort does nicely. Like, "His face contorted with disgust," or something along those lines.

    Anyways, I really like this idea. Keep it up.
     
  7. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    This is a rather good idea. Nice one.



    ~Raven.
    Senior Super Moderator.
     
  8. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Member

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    Retarded?

    Not the idea, the word that you have under 'slow'.

    I think if one called a character in their work 'retarded', it would produce a lot of bad feelings towards the writer...
     
  9. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I agree with Lucy. Copying and pasting a thesaurus is not a good idea, as the thesaurus itself doesn't take into account modern usage of words.
     
  10. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Member

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    lazyed - no such word

    persed lips - it's 'pursed'

    slothed - no such word

    cheeta'ed - no such word

    trot - is genuinely used to decribe a leisurely prance rather than running/moving fast

    vised - no such word

    chucked/lobbed - both are slang words, and show very poor writing unless used as part of a character's voice/dialogue

    While I like this idea, you should definitely check the words before putting them up. Incorrect spellings and marking slang words as strong words can be very misleading.
     
  11. lordofhats
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    lordofhats New Member

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    chucked is slang but lobbed is a word. It means to throw or toss easily, or in a high arc. Militarily, grenades are lobbed, not thrown (though most people do say "Throw a grenade," but the real action is a lob).
     
  12. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Member

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    I'm referring to general use - if it's being used in that situation then it's fine, but 'he lobbed the flowers into the crowd' is generally considered slang/poor wording.
    In Britain it is, anyway.
     
  13. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I am aware words like slothed or cheeta'ed are not words, but they are cool and I doubt any reader would have a hard time understanding them used as verbs. We invent new verbs all the time.
     
  14. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Member

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    I HAVE to make a thread about this...I honestly can't see many editors leaving words that aren't actually real words in a novel.
     
  15. Rei
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    Rei New Member Contributor

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    It depends on how you use them.
     
  16. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Lucy, in the end I suppose it is up to the publisher. They will either have the word changed or leave it. I think though made up words can serve a good purpose.

    He slothed into bed. (This paints a vivid picture in my mind.)

    He slowly crawled into bed. (Paints a similar picture, but I had to use an adverb.)

    He crawled into bed. (Paints a different picture.)

    He inched into bed. (Probably comes the closest to the movie I get from he slothed into bed.)


    Hmm, interesting enough, the spell checker here says everything is spelled correctly. I wonder why it didn't try to correct slothed.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, the publisher will either accept the manuscript of reject it. Guess which is more likely.
     
  18. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If a publisher likes a book, they are not going to reject it because of a few words, or sentences the don't like. They will ask for it to be fixed. According to the books I have read, in which publishers share their thoughts and exeriences, this ist he case.

    If publishers rejected manuscripts they liked simply because they felt it needed a little more editing, they might never publish anything.
     
  19. ward
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    ward New Member

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    First... love this site... especially the action verb part... for they are the life of written word...

    Second... another verb flared briefly in the early sixties is/was "torqued." The primary use of the word is the amount of foot/pounds of pressure one puts on a nut (or bolt) when tightening it with a wrench. (In engine mechanics, that actually counts).

    However the "new" useage that came out of it was if a person was really tense or wired up, one would say, that guy is "all torqued up." (...or if an athelete was getting ready for his event, or a senior was preparing for her prom etc.)


    Thirdly, another useage for "trot" is what one does when one has the "runs" and is headed for the bathroom.
     
  20. ward
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    ward New Member

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    Another great action verb for slowly departing is "Shamble." One of George Harrison's eulogies went something like, "...and for a moment, the world stopped while George slowly shambled off."
     
  21. InkyBlot
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    InkyBlot New Member

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    Well I personally thought this was a good idea, although some people always want to disagree -_-
     
  22. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn New Member

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    Honestly I don't like how you have "Slow" listed as a verb since it's technically an adjective...

    But here's some for walking
    Walk: Amble, ambulate, canter, escort, file, foot, go, go on foot, hike, hoof it, lead, locomote, lumber, meander, pace, pad, parade, perambulate, plod, race, roam, rove, run, saunter, scuff, shamble, shuffle, slog, stride, stroll, stump, toddle, tour, traipse, tramp, trek, troop, trudge, wander
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'slow' also has a legitimate verb form... as in 'Slow it down!'... or 'he slowed down, when he came to the corner'...
     
  24. Atari
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    Atari Member

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    Walked: Amble, saunter, perambulate.

    Throw: Defenestrate.

    Eat/Chew: Masticate.

    Slow: Decelerate


    Those are fairly specific words, but they all have a direct relation to the original word.
     
  25. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn New Member

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    I hate to sound pessimistic but isn't this somewhat pointless? People have already done this work for you :) Thesaurus!

    If you don't have one you can always use the one online (it's the one I use)

    http://thesaurus.reference.com/
     

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