18721001439_b79fc1e9fb_bGo easy on the ing words. Why? Too many ing words weakens your text. I don’t mean nouns like spelling, inkling, sibling, and so forth. This issue occurs when you add ing to too many verbs—singing, walking, talking, hopping. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional ing verb form, but when it’s overused, it deadens your writing.

Which of these two sentences sounds stronger to you?

  • She was racing to the bus stop.
  • She raced to the bus stop.

The second version, of course. First off, we eliminated the helping verb was and used an active verb, raced. Plus, we shortened the sentence by several syllables.

Your turn. Go through a recent piece you wrote and circle all the ing verb forms. What did you find? Too many ings? Revise a couple of passages and see if you can replace the ing words with past or present tense verbs.

For extensive help with editing your work, check out the Edit Like an Expert coaching program.

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