Saturday, May 2, 2009

May Mania ~ Stretch #3


Nearly every writer has heard that an overabundance of adjectives and adverbs pegs one as an amateur. They themselves are not ugly but using three modifiers again and again and again for noun after noun creates severe drag in your prose. While you can certainly use adjectives, use the most important ones or try to find strong nouns that speak for themselves: polo v. white, golf shirt; cardigan v. v-neck, button-down sweater; Corvette v. little, sporty hot rod; sunset v. streaky, orange sky; sundress v. flowy, summer dress with spaghetti straps. You don't need to get specific and provide colors and patterns for every little thing. Stick to the most important things. Then the adjectives you do use will pop.

And adverbs are lazy tags when you can often find stronger verbs that convey the same thing. Said angrily v. shouted. Verbs are fun. And some adverbs actually dull verbs instead like simply, mostly. I love hunting for strong verbs, and I use them whenever I can.

Describe an object, character or setting without direct modifiers.

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

1 comment:

  1. [...] of the month. There’s lots of good ideas here. May Mania ~ Stretch #1, May Mania ~ Stretch #2, May Mania ~ Stretch #3, May Mania ~ Stretch #4, May Mania ~ Stretch #5, May Mania ~ Stretch #6, May Mania ~ Stretch #7, [...]