Was, Would, Could

This post first appeared on October 25, 2009

I’ve discovered the words “was”, “would”, and “could” muck up a story

I’ve discovered that I have run into a pattern of using the words was, would, and could when writing my novel.

He was walking to the store.

It would be better if he did it himself.

If only I could have seen it coming.

I’ve read so many books where sentences like those above are common place.

Since I am the kind of writer who rewrites everything one hundred times, I’ve discovered how much time I’ve lost by using these same types of verbs. They are sedentary verbs. That means they just sort of sit there but they don’t do anythng exciting.

He walked to the store.: I can see that.

Have him do it himself. : Dynamic,

Why didn’t I see it coming? : Makes you want to cry.

I love rewriting. It’s actually my favorite part of writing.