Descriptive words that will improve your writing

Share

I recently met a fellow writer at a party. But she’s not technical writer, a PR pro or corporate communicator. She’s a food critic.

I was immediately curious about her approach to writing. As a medical writer, I would be at a complete loss if I had to describe how something tastes. I simply don’t have the command of adjectives and adverbs required for that type of writing.

She told me that in her work, she’s very attentive to how the food tastes and how it’s cooked, and she’s very deliberate in how she describes the food. She also said that it helps to have a good thesaurus “so you can look up the 100 other words for ‘succulent.’”

The lesson I learned from our conversation is that no matter what you’re writing, you should pay close attention to your descriptors. Are they precise and meaningful? Would someone understand how something tastes based on your description?

Download this free white paper to discover 10 ways to improve your writing today.

Below is a list of some precise and meaningful adjectives and adverbs. Consider using these for your next writing assignment.

  • abrasive
  • abrupt
  • abundant
  • adamant
  • auburn
  • bawdy
  • bewildered
  • bitter
  • boorish
  • cerulean
  • coarse
  • colossal
  • combative
  • constrained
  • contemptible
  • crimson
  • crooked
  • cross
  • dashing
  • deafening
  • deliberate
  • determined
  • diligent
  • distraught
  • draconian
  • elegant
  • enchanting
  • flaky
  • flawless
  • frantic
  • frosty
  • gabby
  • guarded
  • gutsy
  • grave
  • habitual
  • hapless
  • harmonious
  • hollow
  • hulking
  • hypnotic
  • ill-informed
  • immense
  • incandescent
  • inflammatory
  • inquisitive
  • insolent
  • judicious
  • jumpy
  • kindhearted
  • languid
  • lavish
  • ludicrous
  • lyrical
  • maddening
  • makeshift
  • mammoth
  • measly
  • melodic
  • miscreant
  • modest
  • muddled
  • murky
  • narrow
  • neighborly
  • nimble
  • noiseless
  • noxious
  • obedient
  • onerous
  • overconfident
  • overwrought
  • parched
  • petite
  • placid
  • poised
  • prickly
  • puny
  • purring
  • quarrelsome
  • quirky
  • rabid
  • raspy
  • receptive
  • redolent
  • reclusive
  • repulsive
  • resolute
  • rigid
  • rustic
  • scarce
  • scrawny
  • shallow
  • shaky
  • somber
  • sordid
  • sparse
  • spiteful
  • subdued
  • succinct
  • superficial
  • swift
  • tart
  • tasteless
  • tenacious
  • tepid
  • thundering
  • tiresome
  • unbecoming
  • unkempt
  • unrefined
  • unsightly
  • unsuitable
  • unwieldy
  • vacant
  • vigorous
  • volatile
  • wasteful
  • whimsical
  • wide-eyed
  • wiggly
  • wry
  • yielding
  • youthful
  • zealous
  • zippy

What descriptors would you add to the list, Ragan readers?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.

(Image via)

Ragan.com

Share