Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

The Be-Verb Assassin

I was sitting there, writing a book, being careful of my punctuation. Every sentence was loaded with meaning and poetry, each was perfectly organized to convey the meanings that were being sung by my muse. I was confident of the result, the rough draft was perfect. The publisher was going to love this.

But were problems. My draft was too long. It was too wordy. And it was infested with “be verbs,” whatever those were.


I sat there, writing a book, careful of my punctuation. Poetry and meaning filled every sentence, each one perfectly organized to convey the message from my singing muse. The result filled me with confidence, the rough draft oozing perfection. The publisher would love this.

One problem remained: an infestation of “be verbs.” The draft required trimming.

5 replies to “The Be-Verb Assassin”

I was sitting here thinking that was a very entertaining and enlightening post, Hugh. I was going to thank you.

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