"Then I caught a scent on the breeze. It was a beautiful, clean smell. Like the clean smell after it rains in Texas. it was clean, pure, and I loved it. Despite the terror around me I was momentarily calmed. It was a good break from the stench of the cigarettes and beer [the offender] reeked of."
This is an entry from the novel I am currently working on. Of course this is not how it started out. When I first began I had several sentences that basically said the same exact thing, but in different ways. Then as I read back through it I realized one sentence contradicted another. After several rewrites this is what I have worked out.
My protagonist is trying to describe the smell of another person who has come into the picture during a dispute. When I wrote it the last thing I was thinking of was adjectives and adverbs. However, when I went back to revise the selection that was my main objective. I wanted to make use of those modifiers without using too little or too much and the right ones. I needed something that would paint the picture I wanted.
During a summer visit to Texas I noticed how the rain smelled different in my native Texas than it did in my adoptive New Jersey. I took a moment to really breathe in that fresh smell and was amazed at how fresh, clean, pure, and aromatic it really smelled. I remember that smell from growing up, yet here in New Jersey the smell of rain seems to be lacking.
For the piece my protagonist is from Texas, so she would have smelled the same aromatic rain that I smelled that summer day in Texas. Wanting to describe something clean and pure the Texas rain was the first thing that popped into my head. My goal is to describe the smell and have the reader smell it in their mind - if that's even possible.
I have many more revisions to do like this one. Hopefully they will all work out the way I hope they will.
Till next time have an awesome day!