I was listening to a friend read a short fiction piece recently and was struck at the leap in power when she came to a character’s gesture. For all the loveliness of the prose telling who, why, and where, it was the act of the characters — he reached toward her throat, she grabbed after the falling ring — that caught and carried the energy of the piece. Someone else read a poem and again, it was not the abstract nouns, for all their romantic evocations, that contained the poem’s gravitas, but the verb that reached out and struck.
Good writing demands strong verbs, motion, gestures. Power lurks in the acts of the hands, the body, the feet, trunk or petal, wing or Mack truck.
Don’t give me love. Give me the actions that love compels.