Editing Like a Badass: Strong Writing

You want to convey strong emotions to your reader with your writing. Then there are a few things you need to change in your manuscript.

Here, we will talk about different ways of making your writing stronger and your manuscript compelling.

Replace weak verbs

Let’s talk about to be. “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” “were,” “been,” and “being” have stronger alternatives.

Andy was enjoying herself at the party.
Andy loved the party.

But you can make your writing even stronger if you show it:

Andy danced until the last song ended and laughed until her stomach hurt.

Change uncertain language

Another way of weakening your manuscript is to use words such as “seems to be” or “could be a reason for”.

She seemed to be crying.
She was crying.

Yet again, try showing it:

Her voice trembled as she spoke and tears slid down her cheeks.

If you want to keep the meaning of what you already wrote in your story, replace it with a stronger version. The version that will put the image inside the reader’s head.

And here are some other tips, already mentioned in Do You Really Need These Words?


First, it is not needed and cumbers your writing. Second, if you want to infuse more meaning into your sentence, replace it with a more powerful adjective.

Very funny? Use hilarious.
Very scared? Petrified.
Very skinny? Skeletal.
Very wet? Soaked.

Check 147 Words to Use Instead of “Very” for an extensive list.


It is used either as very (so really mean should be replaced by cruel) or as a redundant word in a sentence.

She really wanted to shoot him.

And you don’t need it there. So drop it.

She wanted to shoot him.

And I cannot stress this enough, show it:

Her gun pointed at him, her finger itched to pull the trigger and be done with it.

Check out other posts about editing here.

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