Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Embarrassed, Red-Faced Woman with Too Many, Superfluous Words

I've just finished an exercise from The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman.

Wow! Is my face very red! I didn't think I had a problem overusing adjectives and adverbs. But I do. Maybe you knew? 

The exercise was to take the first page of a manuscript and highlight all the adjectives and adverbs. I found four adverbs and 28 adjectives. Whew! 

Three of the adverbs and 13 of the adjectives proved indispensable. The rest I ruthlessly cut--a word savings of 5%! I also exchanged a commonplace noun in the first paragraph with a snazzier one.

Have you examined your modifiers?

1 comment:

  1. I feel like I'm very aware of adjectives and adverbs and I think I use them sparingly. But now that you've put it like this, I'm going to have to pull something up and break out the highlighters to be sure.