I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript. Yep, you can join in the fun, too. Let’s take a looksee at topic #4
4: Cut adjectives where possible. See rule 3 (for ‘verb’ read ‘noun’).
Ha! Since I posed it last week, let me do a little cut and paste for you.
3: Use strong nouns in preference to adjectives. I won’t say avoid adjectives, period, because about once every fifty pages they’re okay! What’s not okay is to use an adjectives as an excuse for failing to find the correct noun.
Hmmm. No adjectives? As in NONE? I’m not sure I agree with this, although I have caught myself using TOO MANY from time to time. I mean, you need to describe stuff, right?
Strong nouns? I think maybe he should have re-thought that. I can understand not saying: “The angry dog barked”
What should be said is “The dog lowered his head, baring teeth. His bark echoed through the room”
The second angry dog is much more menacing, and I didn’t use any adjectives. I think he may just be talking about the whole show verses tell issue, because you’re gonna have to describe a few things sooner or later, right?
Open discussion time! What have you found with your writing and adjectives? What do you think Allen Gutrie’s point is? Where do you think adjectives are necessary?
- Parts of Speech at Work (mcriscam.wordpress.com)
- Nouns as Adjective (espikipbojonegoro3c.wordpress.com)
- Module 1 Writing Activity: my nouns and adjectives (zsuzsicursos.wordpress.com)
- Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade You (blackcolumbus.wordpress.com)