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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T BE FLUFFY

At school you were told to use plenty of adjectives and adverbs in your story writing. Mrs Jenkins probably littered your English book with red pen, didn't she?

I bet you had a piece of chalk (or marker pen if you're younger than 30) thrown at you, with her yelling, "Use more descriptive words!"

Not only that but I bet old Mrs Jenkins used to demand you not start a sentence with a conjunction or worse, mops brow, finishes a sentence with one!

Can you see what's wrong with the piece of writing below? Underneath, I've highlighted where I think words could be deleted without the whole scene changing.

It was morning and Mary woke up and stretched leisurely. The bright yellow sun shone fiercely through the gap in her blue curtains, and spilled over her pink duvet. Yawning, she sleepily sat up and pushed her long, brown hair out of her eyes. She pushed off her cover and swung her shapely legs out of bed and crossed towards the bathroom. The freezing shower was cold against her warm skin. But Mary welcomed it.


It was morning and Mary woke up and stretched leisurely. The bright yellow sun shone fiercely through the gap in her blue curtains, and spilled over her pink duvet. Yawning, she sleepily sat up and pushed her long, brown hair out of her eyes. She pushed off her cover and swung her shapely legs out of bed and crossed towards the bathroom. The freezing shower was cold against her warm skin. But Mary welcomed it.

Over all it's a boring start to a story anyway, but the adjectives and adverbs are way too much. Take them out and it's tighter, but still makes sense.

Are you guilty of over writing?
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