Weak adjectives and verbs sap the strength from your writing. Use the best adjectives possible when writing a description. Be mindful that certain words, like really and very, usually precede weak adjectives.
Examples of weak verbs:
Running – instead try sprinting
Walking slow – instead try ambling
Jumping with joy – instead try leaping
Examples of weak adjectives:
Really bad – instead try terrible
Really good – instead try great
Very big – instead try huge
Very beautiful – instead try gorgeous
You can often give your writing more impact by using stronger alternatives:
Dirty – Filthy
Tired – Exhausted
Scared – Terrified
Happy – Ecstatic
Remove -ily words before your verbs
Quietly tiptoed – tiptoed (as this word already implies that you're being quiet)
Loudly yelled – screamed
Talked quickly – blabbered
Hastily ran – sprinted
Even worse than using weak adjectives is using weak adjectives to tell your readers what something isn’t as opposed to telling them what something is:
It’s not that good – it’s terrible
He’s not a bore – he’s hilarious
He’s not very smart – he’s ignorant
Likewise, we often use clichés to describe someone or something, when a stronger adjective can be used instead.
He has a way with words – he is articulate
She’s got attitude – she is arrogant
There is no stopping him – He is determined
I’m afraid she’s not cut out for this – I’m afraid she’s incompetent
Getting the committee back on track is impossible – The committee is unfocused
Let's put this all together
Happily, Dianne ran fast through the very tall grass. She was a very pretty girl with nice legs and a thin waist. As always, she smiled; she was not a self-conscious child; once she put her mind to something, there was no stopping her.
Ecstatic, Dianne sprinted through the knee-high grass. She was a gorgeous girl with a dancer's legs and a slender waist. Her usual grin rested smugly on her lips; she was an entertaining, determined girl.