Adjectives modify nouns (1).
- The big, red bus.
Like adverbs, adjectives should be used with caution. If you must use adjectives before a noun (i.e. prenominally or attributively) , don’t use more than two. Long strings of adjectives before a noun not only grow unwieldy, but increase the risk of messing up their proper order.
If you hadn’t realised that adjectives come in a set order in English, compare (1) with (2).
- The red, big bus.
Does (2) make you cringe inside? Did you shudder? The order of adjectives is a rule of English syntax you never knew you knew.
Instead of using a prenominal adjective, consider using a different noun: is there one that gives the reader an image of what you have in mind?
Consider (3) and (4).
- Sam lived in a big house.
- Sam’s house wasn’t quite a mansion.
Which sentence is more evocative? Which tells you more about Sam’s abode? Sentence (3) is a dry statement of fact, whereas (4) gives a little extra: the narrator’s opinion. The narrator seems impressed by the size of the house.
Always try to add that little bit extra to your narrative to add interest, intrigue, suspense.