Yes, I could tell you that "Tracy walked stiffly into my office." But it carries more visual power to say, "Tracy stalked into my office." Or, I prefer, "Tracy invaded my office." That verb cuts my sentence down to 4 words, and not only does it tell you something about how Tracy entered, it clues you in to how the narrator feels about Tracy's entering.
The following statement might make you groan, but during the third draft, you should inspect every word of your manuscript. I spend a lot of time on Dictionary.com verifying that I've used a word correctly, that it doesn't carry any connotations I'm unaware of, that there isn't a better word to use. Don't be afraid to look things up.
In a class I took from Susan May Warren, she shared a tip for picking the right words. I think she called them word pools. She thinks about the emotion she's wanting to convey in the scene, and writes down verbs that correspond. So if your emotion is "scared" you might pick scream, flail, thrust, jab and so forth.
It's important to pick the right nouns too, the right items to point out. Nouns that communicate your character's state of mind. Let's go back to that scene I set up earlier.
Tracy invaded my office. His steel-colored eyes matched his suit, one of the "power ensembles" he mentioned in last weekend's article.He thrust a scrap of paper at me. "Stop what you're doing and cut a check for this amount, to this person. Don't make me ask twice."
I could tell you simply that Tracy is wearing a nice suit, but it says so much more to have the character quoting Tracy and mentioning an article. The way this is set up, I don't have tell you that the narrator has issues with her boss.
The big exception to spicing up verbs is "said." Which we'll talk about on Wednesday.
Don't forget prompt entries are due tonight at 11:59pm. I always send email confirmations, so if you've sent yours and haven't heard back from me, please check today. Don't wait for tomorrow.
Hope everyone's week is starting off well!