A Case For Adjectives?

In writing circles experts frown upon using too many adjectives. This is from an English lesson I did many years ago. Oddly enough, I gained a tick for each adjective used. My question is how would this story be without them?

The Stranger

The spectacle of the filthy, bedraggled man sitting in the restaurant drew my attention. His matted, dirty hair hung in knots below his hunched shoulders and some of it fell forward into his soup. Pulling it out of the hot liquid he wiped the sticky, wet hair on his coat which was already covered in mouldy food spillage and vomit. He slurped noisily, spilling more soup from his spoon and mouth than he was managing to consume.

I looked away from him to my daughter who was standing next to me. She was also hypnotised by this revolting, stomach retching sight. Then my eyes fell upon his tattered, torn trousers where horrid, brown, unmentionable marks covered the faded, barely visible check of the fabric. I speculated fleetingly what those grotesque dark streaks were before glancing down to his feet. It became disgustingly obvious what they were as I quickly withdrew my eyes from the sight of his scruffy boots covered in foul-smelling, dried on excrement.

I averted my horrified gaze back to the table where his bony hands tipped with rough, black fingernails were breaking large lumps of bread into his soup. He stopped to blow his nose on the paper napkin he had on his lap, then scrunched it up and placed it on the table next to his bread. His dull, bulging eyes looked up and sickeningly held mine for an eternity before I pushed our daughter down into the seat opposite him and introduced her to the father she had insisted on meeting.

About caroleparkes

My husband calls me a butterfly because I flit from one hobby to another. Apart from being a wife for 52 years, a mother of three sons, and a grandmother, I'm also an author, genealogist, amateur artist, a lover of most needlecrafts, and occasional poet. Of the above, my most enduring interest has been writing and I hope to be doing it well into old age.
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8 Responses to A Case For Adjectives?

  1. Pingback: A Case For Adjectives? – The Magic of Stories

  2. Couldn’t agree more – I hate most of the “writing rules”. To me, adjectives are like the fine brush strokes on an artist’s painting – they add colour and ambiance.


  3. Pingback: A Case For Adjectives? | Grant Leishman - Author

  4. Pingback: A Case For Adjectives? | Ann Writes Inspiration

  5. Kazzmoss says:

    Reblogged this on The Magic of Stories and commented:
    I don’t know why I haven’t been following Carole’s blog before. A sheer oversight!
    I loved this story and didn’t expect the ending at all. How sad really. I wanted to see the magic of this story with my followers. Please follow the link and Carole’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ksbeth says:

    i’m kind of a friendly adjective fan )


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