Getting Specific with Adjectives

Some adjectives are overused, such as sad, good, bad and beautiful. We have become used to these words so much that they don’t always add to the piece. Much can be lost in communication we litter our writing with hackneyed phrases and overused words.

The writer should note that communication is a true art of expression which every one should strive to fine tune. And how do we do this, one way the neophyte writer can do this is simply being careful using adjectives. Proper use of adjectives can make your writing interesting. Here are some examples.

Here are some examples taken from “The Louisa Alcott Reader: A CHRISTMAS DREAM, AND HOW IT CAME TRUE”.

“I’m so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!” exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given.

She found herself sitting on a stone, in the middle of a great field, all alone. The
snow was falling fast, a bitter wind whistled by, and night was coming on. She felt hungry, cold, and tired, and did not know where to go nor what to do.

No nice dinners filled the air with savory smells, no gay trees dropped toys and
bonbons into eager hands, no little stockings hung in rows beside the chimney-piece ready to be filled, no happy sounds of music, gay voices, and dancing feet were heard; and there were no signs of Christmas anywhere.

Some slipped money into the empty pockets, and sent the happy mothers to buy all the comforts they needed; others led the drunken men out of temptation, and took them home to find safer pleasures there. Fires were kindled on cold hearths, tables spread as if by magic, and warm clothes wrapped round shivering limbs.

Effie heard her, and remembering Tiny Tim, ran down and put her arms about the pale child, kissing the wistful face, as she said sweetly, “You may; but mamma deserves the thanks. She did it all; I only dreamed about it.”

Here are some sentences for you to rewrite. Use adjectives that show, not tell. Share your sentences here.

I have a doll. She wears clothes. I lay her every day by the window in my room.

We sit there and look out at the birds in the trees.