Chuck Palahniuk On ‘Thought’ Verbs


Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, teaches you how to strengthen your writing by unpacking thought verbs in to descriptive action in this writing essay.

Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them.  Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.

As an effective, practical method of incorporating the ‘Show, don’t tell’ adage in to my work, this lesson felt like a game changer for me. Such a simple thing to keep in mind, but I immediately noticed a huge difference in my writing after I started cutting out the generic thought verbs. Everything felt more solid and focused.

Give it a try in your own work, you’ll be impressed at the results.

© 2016, Gavin Zanker. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Photo by Bruce Aldridge licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic.


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