Children's book author Kimberly P. Johnson, who came to Young Authors Day at Rutherford College Elementary on Friday to give students tips on writing, spoke these words.
Principal Becky Roach said the program especially helps the fourth graders, who have their writing test in March.
The fourth graders learned how to improve their writing and make it more vibrant and descriptive.
"If you want your stories to live, they have to breathe," Johnson told the kids.
That means cutting out the "no-no" words, such as good, big and nice.
She told them to use stronger verbs, such as "strolled" instead of "walked."
Fourth grader Morgan Cline said Johnson really helped her. Sometimes she used boring words and now she can watch out for them.
As for the writing test, Cline said she thinks she'll get a good score.
Johnson has written books for about 10 years. She has nine books, which includes children's books as well as motivational books for teachers.
She also travels to schools to work with students and teachers and help parents work with their children to write and brainstorm more.
A former newspaper and television reporter, Johnson said she got into writing books because she got tired of writing news.
"I've just always loved fun stories," she said.
One of her favorite authors as a child was Dr. Seuss.
"I loved the whimsical rhyming," Johnson said.
She chose to write children's books because she could make them as fun or as silly as she wanted.
All of her books have a message for kids to be kind and share, to work hard and to have a great attitude.
Students also wrote their own books to read to each other.
"If they can think it in their heads and feel it in their hearts, they can put it on the paper," Johnson said.