Note: If the words don’t slay you today, skip to the images.
Have you ever read as advice to writers:
go back and cut out the adjectives
It’s one of those suggestions that has always raised my hackles. I love my descriptives. Well. At a used book store the other day I picked up a chunky paperback, first of a fantasy trilogy by someone I remember from my days of consuming fantasies like so many oatmeal cookies.
Okay. Page One has some superscript and ornament, then the title. Text begins about halfway down the page. I quit reading halfway down Page Two, opened Scrivener to my most recent poems and started looking for words to cut.
In roughly 44 lines, 250-300 words, the adjective/noun sore thumbs poked out so much they hurt. Da, da, da, adjective noun, da da da, adjective noun. As Donald Trump would say: So sad.
I should have guessed from the thickness that there was padding involved. And the uncracked book was wearing its second used book store sticker. Enough ranting.
How about we get some use out of it? Column A modifier, Column B noun (Yeah, I know—not precisely so) Do some mix and match. Create a title and three or four phrases. Take them where you will.
dark-haired, driven man
1st paragraph, 11 lines
unglazed croft window
mild sea winds
ferocious, clawing breath
leaked bit of moonlight
Tell us what you see: