NZ Forest Native Birds
Tips to Make Your Writing More Vivid
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t get vivid writing by using vivid adjectives. Your writing is more likely to be vivid when you delete unnecessary words (especially unnecessary adjectives) and use more specific rather than general words. Unfortunately, this statement really needs to be demonstrated—and of course you can’t do without adjectives altogether. However, compare
It was a beautiful Autumn day. The large trees in the park were bare and dead leaves covered the grass. Dan’s dogs galloped ahead of us, scattering coloured leaves behind them. WITH It was the type of perfect day only Autumn can bring. Dan’s Irish setters, galloping through the leaves discarded by the park’s ancient pin oaks and liquidambars, sent up showers of gold, red and purple in their wake.

Don’t automatically reach for obvious words like tree, fruit, polished furniture, food, drink. What sort of trees do you want your reader to visualise? Fir, pine, redwood all conjure up dark, virtually changeless evergreens, completely different from, say, oak, liquidambar, elm and poplar, which change with the seasons. And to say your hosts’ home was full of expensive polished furniture and they entertained you with exotic food is nowhere near as evocative as mentioning the eighteenth-century burr walnut (or mahogany or rosewood) table on which you dined on Lobster Mornay, Boeuf Wellington and Crepes Suzette; the wing-backed chairs of burgundy leather in which you afterwards relaxed with your Remy Martin and freshly brewed espresso coffee.

So, in summary, instead of vague adjectives and nouns, use more specific ones and your writing will come to life.

© L A Barker Enterprises
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Well, I do hope I’ve been able to help you. You can send any comments or questions by emailing me.