Write a short story, a scene or a poem without allowing yourself the luxury of modifiers—no adverbs, no adjectives. If you find this to be difficult, well it’s supposed to be. Don’t worry too much though. This is simply an exercise. The idea is to rely only on the bare essentials of language (nouns and verbs) to generate your meaning. This will inevitably force you to put more thought into the words you choose, most importantly the verbs you choose. I am not suggesting that modifiers should be stricken from everyone’s writing. Modifier’s, when used effectively, add character and vision to language, but they can just as quickly diminish the “backbone” components of your sentence and dilute your passage, or become a distraction to your reader.
Just think of it as a day at the batting cages. Take a swing, and should you miss, nothing is actually lost. However, should the product of this exercise be something that you’re proud of, by all means, go back through and pepper in your modifiers as you see fit. If you do it this way, you may have a better idea of what needs to be modified and how it should be modified. We can have sort of a “before and after” thing.Make sure you put this (SATWE, 01/11/14, ADVERBicide) in your title.