Tuesday, August 5, 2014

William Strunk Jr. on Adjectives and Nouns


I love the unapologetic way he says this.

The right nouns and verbs will make your story sing. Just for fun, hunt through your manuscript and find a strong and specific noun you used and share it with us!

11 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but if it is, here it is:

    If felt like all my wounds had been healed, my worries denied, and all my wrongs righted.

    The reason I thought this might be what you meant is because I used that rather than adj. like wonderful, scary, and things like that.

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    1. Oh, I like that sentence so much, Emily! Nice work!

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  2. Just for fun (and maybe because I'm procrastinating a tiny bit) I found this one in my day's edits: "He leans to hand me a fresh handkerchief from his pocket and then settles into his wingback chair to smoke." I like the specification of the wingback chair versus my original "large chair."

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    1. Oh, I like that! I have to go google wingback chairs now, so I can get a good picture of what they are. ;)

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  3. Ooh, I can totally picture that.
    Here, from my crazy camp project with Julliard, aliens, unlikeable characters, but a few good lines: "I model several permutations of blouses and capris in front of the mirror before settling on a floral sundress." I must save that for a future first-person project with a more sympathetic narrator and an, um, plot.

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    Replies
    1. Cool! I can picture that. :D (She's wearing a large-brimmed sunhat too, in my picture. ;) )

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    2. Nice!

      And, yes, plots are good :)

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  4. I'm bad with nouns.... Meh. I'm much better with verbs, LOL.

    But anyway, here's something that I found:
    My fingers wrapped around the top of the wall, rough brick scraping away a layer of skin and cracking my fingernails.
    I'm not sure the individual nouns are too fantastic, but I like how the sentence goes. ;)

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    Replies
    1. What's funny is that when I was going through my edits to share one of my own, I almost shared a verb. It's easier to be snazzy with those, I guess.

      You picked great details. I like this a lot :)

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    2. Haha, apparently. :D

      Thank you! :)

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