A writing exercise with no adjectives or adverbs

This is an exercise I completed from the book Steering the Craft and the point was to write 200-350 words with no adjectives or adverbs. I wrote just over 200 words.

The dragon continued to talk, and he echoed and he boomed. He was surrounded by people but they stayed outside of the range of the dragon’s tail. The dragon stood before a throne in the center of the room. The cat sat on the throne, washing her face with her paws, and continued to ignore him. The people gathered at the edges of the room continued to lock back and forth between the two. No one was talking. Everyone ignored the corpses on the floor, burned by fire. The room remained filled with haze. The people did not understand the dragon’s words but the cat could. Was the dragon uttering grievances or making demands? This went on for over an hour and the dragon was showing no signs of quitting. The people wondered – it was written on their faces – could they leave? Would it anger the dragon? Then the cat stretched, arching her back, and the dragon paused in his monolog and leaned in to peer at the cat. The silence stretched. The people leaned in, watching, waiting. The cat sneezed. The dragon flinched, banging his head on the ceiling. Then the cat looked at the dragon, and spoke a word. The people gasped for they understood. The dragon recoiled, turned, and walked out.

Writing prompt thing

Using this.

“A broken bone can heal,
but the wound a word opens can fester forever.”

~ Jessamyn West

A broken bone doesn’t always heal. And that injury might cause you to forever favor whatever limb you broke. But the childhood saying about sticks and stones is true. Sorta. Words do things physical damage cannot. Words hurt. Words make it so you can’t even figure out what words are in your head. Like right now, I can’t figure out what I’m trying to say because the first thing I thought of when I read the quote was “oh, bullying, right.”

Writers recognize the power of words. Good words, bad words, insufficient – immature – words. Children do too. And victims. Anyone who’s been called a name that stuck them like – like you might stick a balloon with a pin to pop it. So, that means, everyone knows. But not everyone admits it. Not everyone wants to admit they’ve been hurt by words since sometimes it’s just so silly. Or sissy. Or wussy. Where was I? Oh yea, it’s so easy to hurt another with so few words. So easy to cause wounds. But wounds can be healed too.

Words are tricky. I think I’m just going around in circles so as to continue writing. Words can make you talk in circles – if you don’t think the other person is listening, or understanding, or caring. Words are thoughts, names, injuries, promises, oaths, wishes, wants, places, objects, ultimatums, lies, truths, or echoes.


Words that start with A

This randomly popped in my head. I’ll try to limit to just nouns too. I spell-checked too, and may have had some help with a few.

1. anger

2. animosity

3. angst

4. apple

5. anchovy

6. answer

7. antennae

8. antifreeze

9. actor

10. action

11. anonymity

12. allowance

13. addition

14. Andromeda (I said nouns so proper nouns count too!)

15. availability

16. accent

17. anaconda

18. anagram

19. albatross

20. anthem

21. anathema

22. alabaster

23. appearance

24. ass

25. asthma

26. allergy

27. agriculture

28. adjective/adverb

29. ark

30. arc

31. antimatter

32. avocado

33. artichoke

34. Anteres

35. atoll

36. anchor

37. American

38. Audi

Ok I’ll be done.

Writing Prompt

Using this (bits in parentheses not specific to prompt, how I thought of the word)

Dogs (lived with them)

daffodils (up after the crocuses)

dandelions (blowing seeds)

danger (ER visit)

dragged (kids get dragged places)

deer (seeing in the field)

day (at the library)

dots (glasses in junior high)

dreams (wanted to be a veterinarian, then a scientist, then a writer)


dear (cause it seems to fit when thinking of childhood)

don’t (do that!!)



dreary (rainy days)

done (with a book, with school, with chores)

drift (watching clouds)

deed (doesn’t apply but it’s a d word!)

drowned (bugs, frogs in the pool)

dandy (cause I wanted a word that starts with d that is a candy but thought it up instead)

dessert! (Christmas cookies every year, baked by mom)

desiccated (hard shell crab dinner at home on the patio)

dragons! (I had the infamous loved dragons and unicorns stage)

digging (in the dirt, under rocks, I had the less infamous liked to play in dirt stage)

different (me)