To view this notification widget you need to have JavaScript enabled. This notification widget was easily created with NotifySnack.
Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Read What's New Join
Faith
Writers
Forum
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

The HOME for Christian writers!
The Home for Christian Writers!

Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverbs

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

VibrantC
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:43 am

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby VibrantC » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:02 pm

I'm not sure this job is worth the exhaustion, Jan thought as she fumbled with her keys.

She stumbled into the house and kicked off her shoes, watching them fall. Her shoulders slumped further as thoughts of the dinner she'd have to prepare came to her.

Starting toward the kitchen, she focused on making a mental inventory of the contents of her fridge.

We'll start with a Coke. She thought perking up, Ooh, and leftover cake! Who needs dinner any – “Ow!” her thoughts were interrupted by agony shooting through her foot.

Examining the area she found a single Lego, which seemed to mock her from its nest deep in the flesh of her heel.

Jan sighed, smiling despite herself as memories of the towers she and her nephew had built here just the other day eased her discomfort.

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7022
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby glorybee » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:43 pm

Carol, you've done a fine job here! I've got no critique for you whatsoever; keep doing what you're doing.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

kafrak
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:37 am

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby kafrak » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:43 am

Jan’s Writing Basics
Adjectives and Adverbs
HOMEWORK

Exhausted, weary, and worn out, Jan walked tiredly into her house at the end of a long, seemingly endless day at work. She slipped off her dark ebony shoes at the door and plodded unenthusiastically toward the kitchen. All she wanted was an icy cold soda and something sugary saccharine—maybe there was leftover cake in the shiny stainless steel refrigerator.

“Ow!” she exclaimed loudly. She lifted up her left foot to examine curiously what had caused her such sudden, sharp, acute pain. Embedded firmly in the tender flesh of her heel was one minuscule Lego, left over from her young nephew’s visit the previous day before.



Evening was fast approaching and Jan welcomed it after a seemingly unending day. She stifled a yawn as she trudged into her house. Without bothering to turn on the lights, she slipped off her ebony shoes just inside the door and plodded barefoot into the kitchen. Her dry mouth begged for a cold soda and her tired body urged her to see if there was any leftover chocolate cake. Tonight would be desert first or she would not have the energy to fix dinner. The stainless steel refrigerator was her newest appliance and gave no hint about the soda or cake.

Her foot came down and landed firmly on the floor not avoiding a small, unnoticed item that dug painfully into the tender flesh of her heel.

“OW!” she cried and hopped to the dining chair pushed under the table. Once she was in the chair she pulled up her foot and studied its bottom. She found a minuscule Lego left over from her nephew’s visit the previous day.




Exhausted, weary, and worn out - this is saying the same thing three times over. Instead of emphasizing how tired Jan was, it creates a sense of boredom. The over use is continued with the adverb "tiredly" Better to say "Covering yet another yawn, Jan trudged into her house after an impossibly long day at work

plodded unenthusiastically is more over use. She plodded is sufficient to set the tone and maintains reader interest.

previous day before. this is downright confusing before suggests something more is coming. Either use " previous day" or "the day before."

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7022
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby glorybee » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:57 am

Kafrak, your version has some new material that I enjoyed (like the 'Tonight would be dessert first...' line). Your observations about what to omit are spot on.

However, I think your version could still be trimmed a bit. There's no reason to keep the 'ebony' of her shoes--for such a common setting and event, 'ebony' is a bit of overkill. In fact, the color of the shoes isn't necessary at all. Neither is the material of the refrigerator.

Similarly, even though 'small' and 'unnoticed' don't mean the same thing, they're not both necessary. In general, if you've used two adjectives to describe something, check to see if one can be omitted. In this case, it's obvious that she didn't notice the Lego, so 'unnoticed' can go.

So can 'painfully,' since 'dug into her heel' infers pain.

There are more places where you could trim--I'd encourage you to combine this lesson with the 'tight writing' lesson, and see if you could reduce the length of your passage by 10 - 20%.

Your writing is good--with a little polish, it could be excellent.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

kafrak
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:37 am

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby kafrak » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:16 am

I will definitely work on this. I have gotten 3 honorable mentions in the beginner's category, but have yet to place. I need to figure out where I am lacking. I know I tend to get wordy. I so appreciate these lessons and your input! :thankssign

sarita2
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:21 am

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby sarita2 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:02 am

Before I attempt a rewrite, I have a burning question...how did famous and successful writers like Dickens and Austin get by with "loose" writing and extensive descriptions? Is it something to do with our audiences? Maybe in today's fast-paced world we have to be concise in order to catch a reader's eye, versus back then the audience could spend the whole evening in the drawing room reading aloud?

And what about individual readers' preferences? Maybe some like deep descriptions to be able to picture the scene more clearly?

Thanks!

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7022
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby glorybee » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:29 am

sarita2 wrote:Before I attempt a rewrite, I have a burning question...how did famous and successful writers like Dickens and Austin get by with "loose" writing and extensive descriptions? Is it something to do with our audiences? Maybe in today's fast-paced world we have to be concise in order to catch a reader's eye, versus back then the audience could spend the whole evening in the drawing room reading aloud?

And what about individual readers' preferences? Maybe some like deep descriptions to be able to picture the scene more clearly?

Thanks!


Great questions! Dickens and Austen wrote in another era, of course, and you’re absolutely correct about today’s fast-paced world. Contemporary readers aren’t generally drawn to that sort of prose. There are exceptions, of course, including the preferences of individual readers. As with all my lessons here, this one presents concepts for writers’ consideration, but it’s not engraved in stone.

If you enjoy writing with lots of modifiers, and you’ve found an audience who likes to read what you write—great! Keep doing what you’re doing.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

sarita2
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:21 am

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby sarita2 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:59 pm

Thanks for your response!

sarita2
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:21 am

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby sarita2 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:59 pm

Jan limped through her door and kicked off her modest black pumps inside the door. This had been the longest day of her life, and even her eyelids ached. She made a bee-line for the kitchen. What she needed was endorphins, and fast. What better than a frosty soda and chocolate cake to satisfy that need?

She wrenched open the fridge, hanging on as if grasping a lifeline, and immediately winced.

"Ay chihuahuas!" she ground out. Gingerly lifting her foot, she spotted the culprit: a tiny Lego man spear left out from her nephew's visit yesterday.

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7022
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's Writing Basics #2: Beware of Adjectives and Adverb

Postby glorybee » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:13 am

sarita2 wrote:Jan limped through her door and kicked off her modest black pumps inside the door. This had been the longest day of her life, and even her eyelids ached. She made a bee-line for the kitchen. What she needed was endorphins, and fast. What better than a frosty soda and chocolate cake to satisfy that need?

She wrenched open the fridge, hanging on as if grasping a lifeline, and immediately winced.

"Ay chihuahuas!" she ground out. Gingerly lifting her foot, she spotted the culprit: a tiny Lego man spear left out from her nephew's visit yesterday.


You did a fine job of eliminating unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, and of choosing strong words to convey the story. The only edits that I'd suggest are of items that aren't related to this lesson, and I don't want to complicate things. The only adjective I question is 'modest' used with 'black pumps.' It doesn't seem to add to the picture, and black pumps are pretty iconic. They all look pretty much the same--neither modest nor immodest. One adjective should be enough.

That's personal preference, though--certainly not an absolute, and you've done your 'homework' very well.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

Previous

Return to Jan's Writing Basics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


© MeasurelessMedia. All rights reservedTerms of Service



Jesus - True for You But not for Me      Website Builder     Build Website     Is Jesus God?    
Does God exist?     Build a writers website     Does truth exist?     Website online in minutes