Dragonlords of Dumnonia
Verb Density

(Revised 2/2/99)

"Verb density" is a little secret that I learned about back in my sophomore year of high school, but I've since found that many writers are never told about this little trick.

  1. Count the number of verbs you use on any page.
  2. Subtract all of the times that you use a form of "to be" or "to have".
  3. Divide the result by the first number.
  4. Shift your decimal point two places to the right to get the percentage of active verbs that you use.

You want this percentage to be as high as possible, particularly in an action sequence.

This is a wonderful technique to use if you have trouble with the overuse of passive voice and/or weak verbs.

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