Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Too many adjectives...?

Can you use too many adjectives?

Can the ancient, creaking, brown, oak door, be conveyed in any other way?

Does a reader know what you are trying to convey when you describe your spooky cellar as 'cold and dank'...? Should you go further than simply using a few carefully placed descriptive words - is it acceptable to overload a sentence with adjectives when the conveying of something specific is of utmost importance?

I believe adjectives are the gloves on a cold day, the honey in a Rooibos or the sun at a picnic. We cannot write without them and I personally, cannot get enough of their beauty. I am criticised for overusing these words, but I have never seen it as a problem. Atmosphere and ambience are not kindled by a couple of adjectives cautiously placed in a paragraph. If a location is spooky, suitable adjectives are the way to convey this. I once won a writing competition for my good adjectival use - I am not saying I am always right on this, but there is no way I am about to change my delightfully, descriptive writing... So there!

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