Friday, October 26, 2007

Behold the Adjectives

I haven't received the marked-up manuscript in the mail yet, but I'm using the time to go through and find all the adverbs and adjectives I can. I can find most of the adverbs by doing a search for words that end in "ly", but unless Word has a "find adjectives" feature I don't know about, I have to go through a print-out with a green highlighter and catch them by hand. I can do this at a coffee shop, which gets me away from the distractions at home. Then I take it home, highlight the adjectives green on my manuscript page in Word, and work on weeding all the unnecessary ones out. I had no idea I had such an adjective infestation! I have no other way to describe it. It is an infestation. Yikes!

As I sit here typing this after my night's work is done, I've worked my way through Chapters One and Two (one chapter per night since I talked to Bob) and nixed as many adjectives as I thought I could. Some of them, I must keep to clarify things in the story, but I definitely don't need all of them. I also notice that I seem to have a surplus of adjectives in some places but not in others. So far, I don't notice a pattern to the problem, but I may notice one as I get farther into the manuscript. I'm just glad Bob pointed it out to me so I can fix it now. Of course, I want the manuscript to go out to publishers in the best possible shape, and sending it out with all those extra adjectives would be like sending out roses with aphids.


Unknown said...

What's wrong with adjectives?

KHurley said...

There's nothing wrong with them per se; I just had too many of them in some places. I had developed a tendency to use two or three where one would have been better. For some reason, they seemed to crop up whenever the scene got tense, as if subconsciously I was trying to heighten the tension by throwing in some extra adjectives. I never even noticed I was doing it until Bob pointed it out.