Everything Pivots on the Verb: Constance Hale’s ‘Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch’


Constance Hale (author of Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose) has penned another guide to prose writing. Her new book, Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch (Norton; 400 pages), is a celebration of the verb. “(A)ll serious writers know,” Hale writes, “that verbs act as the pivot point of every sentence. Verbs put action in scenes, show eccentricity in characters, and convey drama in plots. They give poetry its urgency. They make quotes memorable and ads convincing.” In her book, Hale gives readers and writers many views on the life of verbs, from their birth to their evolution to […]

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