We have learned in school that adjectives are words that refer to qualities of people, things or ideas.
Eg: A red pen
A fast car
We all had a great time classifying them into absolute, comparative and superlative adjectives.
Hard harder hardest
It was fun.
However, when it comes to creative writing, editors often consider adjectives as annoying. If you have too many of them in your work, they may call it lame and reject it.
Consider this quote by John Green from his novel, Looking for Alaska.
Beautiful, isn't it? Now let me add some adjectives to it and cook it a little more.
“So I walked back to my dingy room and collapsed on the unkempt bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was a light rain and she was a severe tropical cyclone.”
I have killed the beauty of it, haven’t I? The dish is spoiled completely. However, why? The meaning hasn't changed at all.
- · Dingy means gloomy and drab. The room might have appeared as gloomy to the narrator.
- · Unkempt bottom bunk, as it usually is.
- · A drizzle is a light rain.
- · Hurricane is a severe tropical cyclone.
Now I believe, you have understood what I was trying to prove. This is what happens when we use adjectives without using our brain. When I added a few adjectives, the beauty of the quote diminished. The prose is no longer tight and appealing to the reader.
“So I walked back to my
dingy room and collapsed on the unkempt bottom bunk, thinking
that if people were rain, I was a light rain drizzle and she was a severe
tropical cyclone hurricane.”
Now when I remove the redundant adjectives and replace the weak adjectives with its stronger cousin, the quote regains its splendour.
Listen to what Mark Twain has to say:
Now friends, take a paragraph of your work in progress and try to weed out these troublemakers.
Have a Good Day folks.