Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Week's Practice Exercise

Missing A's
Prepared by: Alice Folkart
Posted on: Sunday, October 16, 2011

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Exercise: Write a scene of 400 words or less in which you use no (or almost no) adjectives or adverbs.

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Can you describe a landscape, a person, an interior, a storm, a day in summer, an emotion without using adjectives? Can you write life in action without adverbs?

Imagine "It was a dark and stormy night" without the adjectives "dark" and "stormy." Maybe, for example: ''That night clouds veiled the moon and we couldn't see the mountain." No adjectives. No adverbs.

Does it take more words, more writing, to transmit visual and emotional images to the reader without adjectives and adverbs?

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Exercise: Write a scene of 400 words or less in which you use no (or almost no) adjectives or adverbs.

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In your critique tell the author whether or not the work fits the exercise and why--let the author know what worked or didn't, and why.

As you read the piece, did you hunger for adjectives and adverbs in the scene, or did you forget about them? We might consider adjectives and adverbs as both friends and foes of the writer and reader. How might they enhance or mar one's writing?

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writing Workshop.

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