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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Missing A's

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop (http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by: Alice Folkart
Posted on: Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009
Reposted on: Sunday, October 31, 2010
Reposted on: Sunday, October 16, 2011
Reposted on: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Reposted on: Sunday, October 18, 2015
Revised and reposted on: Sunday, April 23, 2017


Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene without using an
adjective or an adverb.


Can you describe a landscape, a person, an interior, a storm, a day in
summer, an emotion without using adjectives? Can you write an action
scene without adverbs?

Imagine this well-known phrase, "It was a dark and stormy night,"
without the "dark" and "stormy" modifiers. Perhaps … “During the
night, clouds veiled the moon, and sleet rattled across the roof." No
adjectives. No adverbs. However, a reader might picture a dark and
stormy night.

You may find that it’s difficult to compose a story without the help
of descriptive words – a few A’s might slip into your story – but the
task should not prove impossible.

Try to adjust your writing style to meet the challenge of this exercise.


Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene without using an
adjective or an adverb.


In your critique, decide if the writer’s scene fits the exercise. Did
he/she create a story without modifiers? What did or didn't work for
you? Give your reasons. Do you have suggestions?

Please remember to check your title lines before you send in a SUB or
CRIT, or before you send thanks to a fellow critter.

Web site created by Rhéal Nadeau and the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.