CWM: #1 — Using multiple adjectives

“The house on the hill was old, broken, and abandoned. I always passed it on my way home. It stared back at me with its empty, death-glaring, sick eyes.”

Adjectives help, but too many of them back-to-back can weigh down a story. It sounds more like a bumpy ride on a Louisiana highway than anything else.

I’m not saying you can’t stack them up. You can. But they can drag the pace down, especially if they have similar meanings. For example, isn’t abandoned about the same as old and broken?

When editing, pay attention to your adjectives. Make sure they’re all adding something new to the story.

A quick way to tell if they are useful is to read your story out loud. Hearing your words will help point out when the sentence sounds bumpy.

Another way is to find adjectives and see how close they are together. If you find a lot in one area, ask yourself if all of them add to the story or if they repeat each other.

I hope this helps!

Want more?

#2 — Vagueness for tension
#3 — Repeating words for emphasis
#4 — Common misused words
#5 — Misusing hyphens

#6 — Unnecessary details
#7 — Not developing characters
#8 — The words feel and felt
#9 — Overusing character names
#10 — Adding too many details with commas

#11 — Different types of dashes
#12 — Not using plain language
#13 — Dialogue tags vs. action beats
#14 — Misusing commas
#15 — No sentence variation

#16 — Misplaced modifiers
#17 — Characters with similar names
#18 — When to start new paragraphs
This was originally posted on my writing blog.

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