Good writers use adjectives sparingly and then the ones they do use act more strongly or dramatically. Students at our school are learning to write descriptions that include specific detail and fresh, original images or ‘word pictures’.

Your challenge this fortnight is to write a description about a familiar object. It may be a favourite toy, a piece of furniture from your bedroom or an item you use every day. Here are some examples:

The suitcase is heavy. It’s a dead weight of scratched leather, broken at the corners. One of the catches is loose and the whole thing is held together by rope, thick and heavy, knotted under the handle.

Her car is a sleek, black force of steel and energy hurtling through the night. The headlights are its monster eyes, searching for a path, pushing the shadows aside.

In this final example, there are no adjectives describing the nouns ‘night,’ ‘path,’ and ‘shadows.’ The adjectives ‘sleek, black,’ and ‘monster,’ become more powerful and stand out to the reader.

You may like to read your description out to someone at home without saying what the object is. Can they guess the object you have described?