Common Writer Mistakes is a new series I’m starting where I talk through some common mistakes that I see writers (even myself) make. It may not be one that you specifically do, but this is more to make you aware of them.
If you have any ideas of how to avoid some that I didn’t bring up, leave a comment below!
#1 — Using multiple adjectives
“The house on the hill was old, broken, and abandoned. I always passed it on my way home. It stared back at me with its empty, death-glaring, sick eyes.”
Adjectives help, but too much of them can feel like a burden. With so many, it can sound more like a bumpy road on a Louisiana highway than anything else.
I’m not saying you can’t stack them up. You can! But stacking them back to back can drag the pace down, especially if they have similar meanings.
When editing, pay attention to adjectives. Make sure they’re adding to the story instead of making it a bumpy ride.
Also, check to see if they all say something different. “Round” and “edgeless” is about the same thing. Mix it up!
A quick way to tell if they are adding up is to read your story out loud. Even if you locked yourself in the basement, turned on a noise maker, and whispered, hearing your words out loud will point to any inconsistencies. It helps see your story in a new light.
I hope this helps!