Kill The Adverbs–Writing 101

It’s autumn in West Virginia. I’m standing at my favorite overlook at Grandview State Park off of Rt. 9 in Raleigh County. As I descdribe this, keep in mind that my winters are spent in Florida where there is very little color change in the leaves. Florida is flat and straight compared to these blue-gray tinged mountains in the Appalachian range.

The colors burst forth at their peak around mid-October so I’m going by memory here. The fall breezes are crisp as they tingle fingers, noses, and ears. I wear a red, fleece-lined windbreaker and rejoice as the wind blows my hair about my face. The ochre, crimson, and butter-colored leaves crunch under my feet as I walk the trail.

From the overlook, I watch the rapids swirl in the New River below as it slithers between the mountains. The evergreens still wear their deep variegated hues. In shadow they are a bluish black. It seems God drew with his finger the path of the river between the peaks and valleys, playing with His artwork.

The railroad track that caresses the base of the mountain across from my lookout is diminished to toy size, it is so far below.

I stand, exultant in the majesty before me, brought to tears by the brush strokes, purposeful design, and love I see in this creation done by the Master’s hand.


One thought on “Kill The Adverbs–Writing 101

  1. This is a hard assignment. I see you painting a landscape portrait with words. One thing, when we omit adverbs, we tend to use more inactive verbs like “is”. What if you change most of the “is” verbs to show action. I like your 3rd paragraph. It shows action by using active verbs in 3/4 of the sentences. I didn’t do this exercise, but instead tried to create a portfolio for an oral history project on my blog. It’s not working out yet. From your posts, I can see how I might introduce or conclude the text with some personal reflection.


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