by Kim Van Sickler
Weak words. You know the ones I mean. Those participles paired with "to be" verbs: were watching, was visiting, is talking, am listening, are going.
In my rough drafts, these phrases spring up like dandelions.
My job is to prune away, so that passive phrases like these disappear. That often means I need to rewrite my passages to show instead of tell. (Hint, hint.)
Slow down. Show the scene. Make it pop.
That Find feature in Word is a perfect way to track down these weak clauses. But it's up to us writers to rewrite "ing" sentences so they blossom.