Adjectives Are Like Accessories: Always remove the last one you put on

Adjectives are like accessories.

Coco Chanel once said: “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.”

To me, the same applies to adjectives. If you use adjectives as a filler to layer your sentences, it shows. You know it and the reader knows it.

  • Learn to self-edit.
  • Learn to properly judge when you’re finished–actually finished.
  • Learn to spot overwritten sentences.
  • Learn self-awareness in your writing.

Not every noun needs to be expounded. Be a poet: each word in a sentence must have meaning and purpose. Don’t over-describe. Don’t be the person at the party with too many necklaces. Take off the pearls and leave them at home.

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Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

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