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Writing / Research Tip Tuesday

Take a page of your novel and remove all of the adjectives and/or adverbs. List them in a document. Then read the page without the words you removed and see the difference. Does it read faster? Smoother? Now replace every word you removed with something more unique, less cliche. Read it again. Chances are it reads a bit false and overdone now but you might have found a way to bring at least one sentence to life that was lacking. Assess what you've learned and rebuild the page with the words you've decided to keep.

This is an exercise I picked up from THE FIRST FIVE PAGES by Noah Lukeman. It can be done with nouns as well, but the result is a little more insane.

Have fun!


  1. Thanks for the tip, I am going to do this tonite.

  2. This was a fun exercise and one I intend to begin doing each time I complete a chapter. I selected a page at random and was pleased to see that I only had a total of five adjectives/adverbs on that page. Only one (an adverb) could have been eliminated without muddying the meaning of the noun or verb it modified. This has inspired me to find a better verb to use in that instance, but for now I'm stumped.

  3. Great tip. I'll have to give it a try.

  4. Interesting. That sounds like a good exercise.

  5. This is an awesome exercise, Casey! I recommend this all the time!

  6. Sounds intriguing.

    I see you're up to 300 followers. Way to go, Casey!

  7. Glad you all liked the tip/exercise, everyone! I'd love to hear what you learn from it.

    The First Five Pages is an excellent book!

  8. I read The First Five Pages last month and highly recommend it. Now I just have to finish my draft so I can apply all the great revising tips!