Flannery O'Connor - 1957
A large number of novice writers overuse adjectives and adverbs. They think that by doing so they bring their writing alive, making it more specific but almost in every case the opposite is true.
There are numerous reasons why writing in this way generally isn't a good idea. Here are some of them:
- Less is more. When copious amounts of adjectives are used they distract the reader from the actual point the sentence is trying to make.
- The reader can find it dull and boring to have every detail filled in for him. Readers love to use their imagination to picture the scene.
- If the reader has to use their imagination to fill in blank spaces they are more likely to feel engaged with the story.
- Writers who use a lot of adjectives and adverbs will more than likely use common ones, giving the writing a bland feel.
- Too many adjectives and adverbs make awkward reading: they detract from the main point.
This is the main reason why I usually stay clear of describing things in detail in my writing but I've never been a fan of descriptive writing anyway. I prefer to use more emotion in my writing rather than describing physical details. So, how do you prefer to write?