He Drives a Red Sports Car …

Dear Readers:
On another web site of mine (specifically deviantART.com), one of my watchers challenged me with a pugilistic statement about being UNABLE to make a simple statement like “He drives a red sports car” without using adjectives.
Naturally, this set my wheels in motion.  2008 has been the year of hard growth for ol’ JDT in writing, and one of the hardest things to hear was how littered my writing was with adverbs and adjectives.  To the point of being weakened by them.
I made it my mission to eliminate adverbs then and there from my writing.  I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far, but will keep striving.
Meanwhile, I’ve started addressing adjectives now.  The statement the watcher made, I took as a challenge.
First, it’s BAD PRACTICE to TELL the reader “He drives a red sports car” and is MUCH better to SHOW the reader he drives one.  So I proceeded from that understanding.  (The watcher issuing the challenge isn’t a writer, and may or may not understand the whole “show don’t tell” mantra we writers live by.)
Second, I wanted to write that description, showing someone driving a red sports car, without a single adjective (or adverb, of course).
I’ve challenged other writers I know to do the same; write an interesting description, showing not telling, using the sentence “He drives a red sports car” as the premise and using NO adverbs or adjectives.  To assist me with the parts of speech identification, I used WordWeb.
This is the result.  How did I do?  Are you interested in trying it yourself?  It’s a great exercise, and loads of fun.
Here’s my entry to my own contest.  Sound off and let me know what you think.


He slides behind the wheel and the leather embraces him like a lover. Adjust the sunglasses, verify the look with a glance in the mirror. He turns the key and thunder roars beneath him. A smile traces his lips, engine purring.

He gooses the accelerator and the vacuum sucks him backward. It responds to his will, hugs the blacktop. Daylight melts on crimson as it stalks the streets. It’s leashed thunder, waiting to strike.

He can’t help smiling at the power it has. It’s like walking a tiger while the neighbors walk poodles.

He nods to his reflection and weighs on the gas. The rumble of the engine warns the day of his coming.

All original content is COPYRIGHT J. DANE TYLER 2008

11 thoughts on “He Drives a Red Sports Car …

  1. Benjamin Rogers

    Ok, I’m jealous because that is one awesome description without using my favorite parts of speech. Don’t know if I can compete with my friend. Thats slam up but you better be careful because the Descriptive Word Union is likely to sue you for lack of fair employment practices!

    Talk to ya later,


  2. Benjamin Rogers

    Evidently I’m so floored I can’t even complete a sentence. Second sentence should say “Don’t know if I can compete with THAT my friend.” Should also be an apostrophe in “That’s slam….”

    Goodness now I’m self editting!


  3. Ben — HEY, thanks! What a GREAT compliment you’ve paid me.

    How ’bout it? Take up the challenge! Give it a shot, 125 words or less, describing the statement “He drives a red sports car”, no adverbs or adjectives allowed. Should be fun! Maybe we can get Bryce in on this, too! 😀

    Great to see you again!

  4. Ben — If you’d like, you can do that. And if you post it on your site, you can ping back to this post as reference, and that way I’ll know when it’s done. If we can get Bryce and enough others in on it (how ’bout it, Sherri?? Tam?? Elizabeth?? Annie?? Casey?? Dwight??), I’ll try and collect them all and put them into a single post for the blogosphere to see!

    Can’t wait to see how you do! 😀

  5. Nary an adjective or an adverb, huh? That’s a toughy.

    Here’s about the best I could do. There’s probably a couple of them in here that I didn’t realize were adverbs or adjectives. (There’s just so many of them…)

    He traced the door with a finger as he walked around the roadster. It was silk on his fingertips.

    The color matched the sign that he would be ignoring at the end of the street. And the lips he would not be kissing.

    The flames on the hood made his decision.

    He ripped open the door and flung himself inside.

    Stomping the gas in this machine would be like pulling the trigger of a gun.

    Maybe it could even outrun the memory of the woman.

  6. Bryce — AWESOME, bud! I think you hit it better than I did! And I edited out “last bit of” (the adjective offender), so I hope what I added is okay. Make any corrections you’d like and I’ll re-edit.

    Glad you stopped by bud!

    Okay, Ben, Bryce is IN! Now it’s YOUR turn!

  7. Benjamin Rogers

    Ok here is my shot. Not sure how good it is but let’s see!

    It is a P-51 Mustang on wheels.

    Accelerator pushed to the floor. Wheels skimming the asphalt.

    The color of a stop light flashing along the roadway.

    His hands gripping the steering wheel.

    Shift, accelerate, shift, accelerate.

    Who needs Nascar when he has this Mustang on wheels.

  8. Ben — Good job! It’s a tough exercise, don’t you think? You can let adjectives (especially adj’s) in without even realizing you’re doing it. And I’m always startled to see how many modifiers there are in my sentences if I’m not on careful watch.

    I think you did a fine job! Great work! 😀

  9. Yes I do believe this is one bitchin’ description you have here. Very easy to visualize. I like it!

    Well, thanks, Max! It was a lot of fun. Give it a go sometime. 🙂

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