Notes from writing class - Adjectives

Disclaimer: This is a recurring and random series of posts. I'm currently enrolled in a basic writing/editing class and felt that my notes might be helpful to others. Please note, I am not an editor. I'm just an author trying to learn more about the craft to improve my own work, and sharing the things I learn along the way.   Enjoy.

What is an adjective?

An adjective is a word used to modify a noun or a pronoun, in order to describe something.

Here’s a hint… for the most part, adjectives will come before the noun.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Adjectives are there to help us describe what something is. Blue eyes, Brown hair, etc. The problem happens when we overuse them. How many references do you have in your manuscript to long flowing blond hair, or deep smoky gray eyes. Too much information is worse than not enough because you're asking your readers to focus on excessive details instead of the story.

The instructor in my writing class asked a very good question and it’s one that needs to be reiterated.

How many times did you just let the hero/heroine’s hair be hair?
If you overdo the adjectives you make the book more about the hero/heroines hair/mouth/butt than about the actual story.

Quick tip: Use the search feature in Word and look up the references to body parts: hair, eyes, etc… note the descriptions and cut out unnecessary adjectives.

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