Tag Archives: adjectives

Writing Prompt Wednesday


evocative

On Sunday I attended a writing workshop entitled Texture and Emotion in Your Writing.

It was an informative and fun afternoon and we all learned a lot about word usage and creating more evocative sentences.

I would like to share my responses to a couple of exercises and then you can have a go too.

Food: 10 minute exercise. Describe the meal. Taste/Smell/Colour/Feel

Angus and Bella have gone to an upscale restaurant for a special celebration. The menu consists of shrimp on skewers with a dipping sauce, a salad of baby spinach and fruit with a lemon dressing, steak, roasted potatoes and a green vegetable. 

The sizzling of hot fat spitting from the skillet of skewered shrimp heralded the arrival of their meal. There was a salty aroma as the shrimp cooked. A see-through sauce placed in the middle of the table, added a spicy smell – it’s flakes of chili visible as the liquid clung to each dipped shrimp. Vibrant spinach leave tossed with fruit glistened in white bowls and a citrus aroma from the dressing added to their watering mouths.

Thick steaks sat on oval plates, juices flowing with a meaty char-grilled lines. Roasted potatoes broke open from browned skin into fluffy white interiors. Sliced zucchini ribboned along the side with steaming broccoli and petit pois.

Odours/Smell: 5 minute exercise. Write a better, more evocative, sentence to replace the following.

Bob came in smelling of the barn.

Dusty and hot, Bob walked into the kitchen smelling earthy and of dried grass.

Verbs and Adjectives: 10 minute exercise. Make a more textured sentence so we know something more of his mood or purpose.

Ambrose stood in the dark doorway.

With his hat lowered on his head to hide his face, Ambrose stood in the shadows of the doorway, watching intently for the bedroom light to switch off. The tip of his cigarette glowed as he inhaled, the only evidence of his presence. The gun weighed heavily in his jacket pocket. When the light went out his heart pulsed harder and adrenaline flowed through his body.

Let’s see who can come up with other evocative sentences. Please share them in the comments.

Get that writing Muse working!

This quote explains it much better: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensations in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
E.L. Doctorow

Beware of Being Monotonous…


My morning was certainly not humdrum. I had to take my daughter for surgery so we were out of the house by 5.15 am – good grief! Everything went really well and now she is home and comfy with a doting mother. I will file away the experience it may help with a story sometime.

Humdrum – definition: monotonous, dull.

Paper- WritingWhen an idea for a story strikes we struggle to keep up with the twists and turns our mind creates. We write or type furiously so we can capture it all. This first draft is primarily getting the words onto the page and character development, word usage, grammar, even spelling often go by the wayside. It is when we start revising that we notice particular words repeating, mediocre descriptions and continuity errors. It might be a humdrum start but the foundation of the story has been built. Now we can begin to embellish and elaborate, delete repetitive words, hone our characters personalities and create tension. Enticing our reader onto the next page is key for any novel.

To ensure our writing isn’t humdrum there are ways to strengthen our work. Here are a few tips, but by no means an exhaustive list.

1. Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. 2. Avoid repeating a word in the same sentence and especially if the word has a ‘double’ meaning. 3. Try to omit words such as ‘go’, ‘went’, ‘that’, ‘very’ – most sentences do not require them! 4. Avoid clichés.

The best way to ensure your writing is clear, concise and enthralling is to expand your vocabulary. Word games, actively learning new words, and using a dictionary and thesaurus are all effective ways to accomplish this.

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We all have words that we over use, mostly unconsciously but once we begin revisions they are revealed – well hopefully. I have found some internet sites that  you can paste a section of your work into and it will highlight them. This is a useful exercise for any writer.

Try one for yourself – http://prowritingaid.com/Free-Editing-Software.aspx#.USrPE0BrbIU

A creatively paced, descriptive and intriguing story is our goal – fight the humdrum and excite your reader.