Writer’s Wednesday: Describe the Positive Instead of the Negative

Lesson #7: Describe the positive instead of the negative. What does this mean?

In other words, you should state what something is rather than what it isn’t.

Instead of using negative comparisons, use positive.  Your reader is focusing on the root words in your description, and his brain is having to go the extra effort to turn your meaning around inside his head. Why not make it easy in the first place?

For example, instead of saying, “The new car was inexpensive. We got a great deal!”– Say, “The new car was economical. We got a great deal!”

Instead of describing a character’s body build as “almost pudgy,” call him “chubby.” Instead of saying a character “didn’t flinch,” say he “remained still.”

Positive instead of negative.

Your job as a writer is to do anything and everything to make your readers work less hard to get the meaning of your prose.

Happy writing!

Lookin’ up,




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