“If you need to have three adjectives to describe a noun, you’ve got the wrong noun.
“Into a noun, you can pack almost an entire life: the meaning of the thing itself, the thing itself. It makes tighter writing and much more powerful writing. Find your noun—verbs too, but find that noun–and you would hardly need any adjectives.
“You know Mark Twain’s dictum, ‘the difference between the word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and lightning?’ The adjective is the lightning bug.”
—Roger Rosenblatt, essayist, playwright, novelist, and author of Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing. In conversation with Alan Alda, in a Clear&Vivid podcast titled “A Writer on Writing.”
OK, fellow writers and ardent readers: Have at it. What do you think?