... jet black pigtail and his soiled blue coat. His hands were rugged and scarred with black broken nails, and there was a cut across one cheek of a dirty, livid white.
Creating a Work of Art with Words Techniques to add specificity and variety to your writing 5 Basic Brush Strokes
1. Absolute- noun + -ing verb or -ed verb
Noun Absolute Noun Absolute
Ex. Engine smoking, gears grinding, the car went into the parking lot.
Engine is the noun, followed by the -ing verb, smoking gears is the noun, followed by the -ing verb, grinding 2. Appositive- renames the noun that it is next to; set off with commas
Noun Appositive Ex. The car, a 1963 Ford, went into the parking lot.
car is the noun a 1963 Ford renames car and it is set off by commas
3. Participle- similar to an absolute but without the noun; -ing verb or -ed verb
Participle Ex. Sliding on the loose gravel, the car went into the parking lot.
Sliding is the -ing verb Notice how there is not a noun before it like there is with an absolute.
4. Adjectives Out-of-Order- t wo consecutive adjectives are positioned after the noun
Ex. The old car, dented and rusty, went into the parking lot.
dented and rusty are adjectives describing car The adjectives could be placed with old- the old, dented, and rusty car... But placing them out-of-order adds variety. 5. Action Verb- use strong, specific verbs. Do not overuse “being verbs”- am, is, are, was, were
be verb WEAK- The road was on the left side of the barn.
Strong verb STRONG- The road curled around the left side of the barn.
Try to prevent using the verbs am, is, are, was, were, being, been... Finding a strong, specific verb will only improve your writing.
BRUSH STROKES Apply your knowledge of the 5 Basic Brush Strokes to add variety to your writing and to make it more specific. For the pictures that contain a core sentence, use the core sentence and add the specific brush stroke to it. Type your brush stroke sentences in a Google Doc. Be sure to indicate which brush stroke each sentence contains. When finished, submit your sentences to turnitin.com. Record your submission ID#.
Write your own sentence about the surfer using an absolute. Core sentence: The surfer rides the wave.
Write your own sentence about the soldier using an appositive. Core sentence: The soldier deeply contemplated his mission.
Write your own sentence about the snake using a participle. Then write another sentence using the same core sentence in which you use 3 participles. Ex. Bouncing, clacking, rattling, the car went into the parking lot. Core sentence: The snake eyed its prey.
Write your own sentence about the picture in which you use the adjectives out-of-order brush stroke.
ACTION VERB BRUSH STROKE Rewrite the following paragraph eliminating all the be verbs that are underlined. Replace the ineffective be verbs with specific action verbs.You can combine sentences and use other brush strokes to improve the paragraph. I remember him as if it were yesterday. He was a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man. What was noticeable was his jet black pigtail and his soiled blue coat. His hands were rugged and scarred with black broken nails, and there was a cut across one cheek of a dirty, livid white.