Getting Rid of “Thought” Verbs

Yesterday, I ran across a link on twitter that seems to have originated in “Nuts and Bolts: ‘Thought’ Verbs”, an essay by Chuck Palahniuk last year.

It’s great advice:

…you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.

The list should also include: Loves and Hates.

In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.

I used to run a Word macro on all my fiction to search for overused words. That search included “thought”, “knew”, “realized”, and “felt”. I should probably start using it again.

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