1.3 Action Lead

The story opens with something happening featuring strong action verbs. Check out this example from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and note the good-to-great verbs highlighted in yellow.

From ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury

It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and 5 burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his solid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the 10 furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.


Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a 15 minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile gripped by his face muscles, in the dark.

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