painting pictures with words 5 basic brush strokes
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Painting Pictures with Words5 Basic Brush Strokes
ParticipleDefinition: Verbs ending in ing or ed used to create precise description.
Function---Used as adjectives, participles should be placed as close to the noun they describe in order to engage the readers senses and bring the picture to life.
ParticipleExample: The diamond-scaled snakes attacked the prey.
Hissing, slithering, and coiling, the diamond scaled snakes attacked the prey.
The diamond-scaled snakes attacked the injured prey.
Hissing their forked-red tongues, the diamond-scaled snakes attacked the prey. (participle phrase)
Participle and Participle Phrases
Panting and stretching, the player kicked the deflated ball.Paralyzed with fear and shaking in her shoes, Melody froze when she saw the slumping shadow.Laughing and splashing, he washed his hands in the ocean.Chuckling and playing, the clown smiled at the surprised audience.Stretching and twisting, the frightened kitten yawned.
ParticiplePractice sentences: Think of actions that are taking place in each sentence. He took his dog for a walkMary was tiredThe car went into the parking lot
Yelling, and sweating, he took his dog for a walk.Defeated and recovering, Mary was tired.Turning, spinning, and sliding on the ice, the car went into the parking lot.
Rewrite each of the following and add participles to each.The player kicked the ball.Melody froze when she saw the shadow.He washed his hands in the ocean.The clown smiled at the audience.The kitten yawned.
AbsoluteA two-word combination consisting of a noun and an -ing or ed verb added onto a sentence.The absolute is always set off by a comma.Adds to the action of the image.
AbsolutePractice sentences:The car went into the parking lot.The cat climbed the tree.
Application: Engine smoking, gears grinding, the car went into the parking lot.Claws digging, feet kicking, the calico cat climbed the tree.
AbsoluteApplication:Close your eyes and picture a mountain climber moving along a steep cliff.
Visualize: The mountain climber edged along the cliff.
AbsoluteAdding two absolutes:The mountain climber edged along the cliff, hands shaking, feet trembling.OrHands shaking, feet trembling, the mountain climber edged along the cliff
AppositiveWhen you add a secondary image to a noun, or previous image. An added description that is always set off by a comma.
AppositiveExample:Instead of saying The raccoon enjoys eating turtle eggs, it can be enhanced with an appositive: The raccoon, a midnight scavenger, enjoys eating turtle eggs.
AppositivePractice sentences:Ms. Lark enjoys tormenting kids.Michael Phelps swam with precision.My brothers car is the envy of all my friends.
AppositiveApplication:Mean old Ms. Lark, the red-headed Language Arts teacher, enjoys tormenting students.Michael Phelps, a U.S. gold medalist, swam with precision. My brothers car, a sporty red convertible, is the envy of all my friends.
Shifted AdjectivesInstead of placing three adjectives in front of a noun, a good writer will place one in front and put the other two behind the noun. Examples:---Weak: The large, red-eyed, angry bull moose charged the intruder.---Strong: The large bull moose, red-eyed and angry, charged the intruder.
Shifting AdjectivesApplication:--Weak: The trembling and frightened young pup scooted under the bed during the thunderstorm.--Strong: The young pup, trembling and frightened, scooted under the bed during the thunderstorm.
Action VerbsGo from passive voice to active voice by deleting the Be verbs.By using action verbs, writers cut down on the use of the passive voice and reduce being verbs thus energizing their imagery.
Action VerbsPassive example: The runaway horse was ridden into town by an old, white-whiskered rancher.Active example: The old, white-whiskered rancher rode the runaway horse into town.Passive example: Around the left side of the barn was a gravel road.Active example: The gravel road curled around the left side of the barn.