Thing, Pt. 2 (Writing Exercise)

Someone on my deviantART watch list asked me to continue this vignette, though for the life of me I didn’t know why.

So I did.

Still under 125 words, and this time I’m pretty sure there are NO ADJECTIVES OR ADVERBS.  I did, in fact, find one of each in the last version, which I’ve edited.

So, if you find one of those nasty li’l buggers, let me know, would you?  I’m serious, here.

Thanks!  Have a great holiday weekend!


“Man, it’s … .” Paulie leaned in, and brushed back his bangs. “You know what it …?”

“No,” I said and shook my head. “No, I don’t.”


The breeze teased the field into undulating waves. I heard gravel crunch and turned to see Paulie scouring the ground. He trotted back grinning, a twig in his hand. It went from his hips to the ground. He stood over me a minute, then stuffed it in my hand.

“Here,” he grinned. “Poke it. See what happens.”

“What the — no way! You poke it!” I dropped the stick, scrabbled to my feet, and backpedaled.

“You chicken?”

“Yeah! You poke it!”

He snorted, the grin plastered on his lips. “Fine, I will.”

All Original Content Copyright J. Dane Tyler, 2008

What Happened? (Opening)

I’m standing here because I don’t know what happened last night.

It’s something we do every Friday night. We all get together, we pile into someone’s car with as much alcohol as we can drink, we draw straws for the designated driver with whoever did it the last time counted out so they don’t get stuck twice in a row, and we go find someplace deserted, quiet and dark to drink, joke, be friends and if we’re lucky — and there’s a girl or two involved — get laid.

Click here if the suspense is killing you

Event at Twilight (Writing Exercise)

Continuing on with the writing exercises, here is another attempt to use no adverbs or adjectives.  The style of this one is very, very different than the other two, but maintains that maxim of not using modifying words EXCEPT nouns or verbs.

If you feel like trying something like this, give it a shot!  You can post here in my comments, or on your own blog and let me know about your post!  I’d love to see your work.  🙂


Buzzing, whining, annoying. Swatting, missing, distracted. Stinging, pinching, shouting, frustration and anger. Slapping, chasing, lost in the dark.

Swirling, dizzying … staggering … hand on forehead … confusion … .

Falling … panting … gasping … vision blurring … .

Numb … cold, shivering … darkness … fading, fading … .




ALL Original Content Copyright 2008 J. Dane Tyler

Thing (Writing Exercise)

Another attempt at the 125-words-or-fewer, no-adjectives-or-adverbs exercise.  This one cruises in at about 122 words (close!), but it has a twist.  See if you can find the tricky item in this piece!  And of course, all are welcome to play along!

The “prompt” for this one was: Two kids find something strange.  Decribe the scene with 125 words or fewer and no adjectives or adverbs allowed.  I found this one easier.

I might do a few more of these as time goes on.  At least I’m writing again!!  😀

God bless, all!

PS – Updated the text, but didn’t change the twist/caveat Benjamin Rogers caught below. -jdt-


“Where’d it come from?” Paulie stood, eyes riveted to it, ragweed locks rustling on the breeze. He squinted at me in the brightness.

“How should I know?” I said. I stared at it, just like Paulie.

“You … you think it’s … can we touch it?”

“I ain’t gonna touch it. Are you?”

“Heck no! You crazy?”

My jeans crumpled behind my knees when I bent with hands poised to move if it … did something. Anything.

“Is it … what is it?”

“Paulie, I don’t know, man.” He was getting on my nerves. “How can I know, dude??”

“I’m just askin’,” he muttered, but he didn’t care. We stared at it, and he rested his hands on his knees.


All original content Copyright J. Dane Tyler, 2008
ALL RIGHTS reserved

He Drives a Red Sports Car …

Dear Readers:
On another web site of mine (specifically, 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