Adjectives! You Need More Adjectives!

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Blog, Double Cousins |

Adjectives! You Need More Adjectives!

This month is all about school visits. No wait, this month is all about finishing the manuscript of my latest book.


These are both true statements. I am focusing a lot on school visits. In between I am snatching a few hours here and there to revise my current work in progress. Throw in a couple of days a week at my “day job” and the other stuff that must be done. Yes, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m coming or going.

But, in the midst of the hectic days I find humor. It is what makes it all joyful fun!

Last week I visited Pomaria-Garmany Elementary School in South Carolina. I spoke to all of the students from 1st through 5th grades. I was allowed to set up in the library and each hour a different grade would come in, the students would sit on the rug, and I would talk to them about the writing process. It was a blast.

One of the things I talk about is plot. I try to demonstrate to the students that you must have a plot. I’ll usually say something like this: “So, if I wrote a book about being at my grandpa’s ranch and I said, ‘One morning Carly and Max got up and they gathered the eggs, watched Grandpa milk the cow, rode the horses, picked berries, and Max stepped on a snake. . . The End. . .’ would that be a good book?” Of course, inevitably I hear a chorus of “NO! That would be boring!”

At this point I ask them what is missing. The older grades often guess that it is plot I am talking about. Sometimes, with guidance they come to the answer. But, last Monday in the first grade class I had a totally unexpected response.

One little girl raised her hand as high as it would go. When I pointed to her she burst out with a brilliant answer! “Adjectives! You need more adjectives,” she declared.

I didn’t laugh! I looked at her teacher and she was looking at the other teacher with an incredulous look. They shrugged their shoulders. She must have been listening in class.

I told her that adjectives are always a good addition and went on.

Later that day, I sat at my computer and contemplated my revision project. I need to go through each scene and count how many of the senses I’ve used in description. I must have at least three senses in each scene, and it would be great to have all five. What I need are. . . wait for it. . . ADJECTIVES! I need more adjectives!