‘make’ing it better

Towards the end of last year, as I was making my way through some blogs that had been made to help writers make their writing better, I made a discovery. Apparently, the verb ‘make’ makes more appearances than it should. This made me think. I made some attempts to remove my makes, and I must say,  it made a difference. Phrases with make do make the phrase less impactful.  Consider:

  • it made a difference –> it changed things
  • I made it –> I succeeded
  • it made me think –> it forced me to think
  • she made her way to town –> she went to town

Right now, I’m making some changes to (editing) the first part of a story I (made) wrote, and find myself searching for exciting equivalents to my makes. I thought I’d share a few.

  1. ‘soulful eyes that made him a popular lover and leader’ –> ‘soulful eyes that endeared him as lover and leader’ (struggling with this was what made me think to write a blog… not sure I’ve hit on the best option, or made the right choice)
  2. ‘and he’d done his best to live up to the promises his eyes made’ –> ‘…his eyes delivered’ (in the same damned sentence!!!)

Now, I can definitively state that I’d changed a few makes before I decided to write this (and I can’t be bothered to go back and find them), but I’ve just reached the end of the piece without finding another, so I guess my conscious tweaking over the last couple of months has reached my subconscious. Great for me, not so great for this blog post though!

To punctuate that failure with another, I thought I’d share a few links where others discuss removing ‘make’, but have completely failed to find any. It seems removing makes isn’t as hot a style topic as I’d thought. However, removing ‘be’ verbs has many hits, so for the sake of sharing, and to give me something to click on and read tomorrow, here’s one of those links.

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