The exercise Le Guin’s proposes at the end of chapter 5 takes far longer to complete than her short little chapter (just two and a half pages!) on adjectives and adverbs would lead you to believe. She admits that this one is hard and suggests you do it away from the pressure of a class or group. I did find myself staring at the blank page for quite a while…once I did start writing, I was surprised at the sinister turn my little paragraph took.
Exercise 5: Chastity
Write a paragraph (200-350 words) to a page of descriptive narrative prose without adjectives or adverbs. No dialogue.
The point is to give a vivid description of a scene or action using only verbs, nouns, pronouns, and articles…
Ursula Le Guin, Steering the Craft, page 45.
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