This week’s goal is to write a verb avalanche and send it to Daniel@WizardAcademy.org
If it’s awesome, there’s a chance Frank will send it and then you’ll be, like, famous. – Indy
Verb Avalanche – a style of writing that slaps the cheek of the imagination and jerks open the eyes of the mind by firing rocket-like verbs to explode in the darkness and brighten the horizon. You leap out of the way of a mental image plummeting toward you only to find that another is hurtling at your face. Adrenaline surging, heart pounding, knees flying, lungs gasping, you’re having a wonderful time.
You say you need some more examples?
Jacob slipped into the shadows, ducked down a hallway, climbed a wall, and hid in the shadows above the throne room.”
Later, in that same children’s book…
“Jacob was afraid for his friends. He slipped into the shadows, crept over a rooftop, slid down a tree, hurried away from the palace, and ran all the way to Bethlehem.”
– Chris Auer, The Littlest Magi
(9 actions in 52 words – 9/52 – one vivid action every 5.8 words)
slipped, ducked, climbed, hid, slipped, crept, slid, hurried, ran
Then Thorin stepped up and drew the key on its chain from round his neck. He put it to the hole. It fitted and it turned! Snap! The gleam went out, the sun sank, the moon was gone, and evening sprang into the sky.”
– The Hobbit, chapter 11,
(10 actions in 44 words – 10/44 – one vivid action every 4.4 words)
stepped up, drew, put, fitted, turned, Snap! went out, sank, was gone, sprang
(In context, Snap! isn’t technically a verb but I’m counting it as an action because it makes you experience something vivid in your mind. Likewise, “mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved” below.)
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”
– Jack Kerouac
(13 actions in 69 words – 13/69 – one vivid action every 5.3 words)
mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous, yawn, say, burn, burn, burn, exploding, see, pop, goes ‘Awww!’
SIDE NOTE – the definition of verb avalanche in the Dictionary of the Cognoscenti is 14/69, an action in every 4.9 words.
slaps, jerks, firing, explode, brighten, leap, plummeting, find, hurtling, surging, pounding, flying, gasping, having