Wednesday, June 2, 2010

reluctantly reaching a reasonable conclusion

unfortunately, i have been slowly coming to a definitive conclusion.

several blog posts have firmly stated their opinions on a matter that greatly affects the writing of nearly every author. grudgingly, i begin to mentally accept their words of warning, although i have not yet begun to actually implement their advice.

but here is the plain heart of the matter:

adverbs are not always necessary.

*fearfully gasps*

i am rather strongly attached to adverbs.

i think i may have liberally peppered certain manuscripts with them.

i may have to fix this. after all, i cannot argue convincingly with all of these posts:

Kristin Miller's

Jan Freeman's article (ouch)

Trent Lorcher's article (OUCH)

i could go on. easily. but i won't. too painful.

instead, i should probably get to thoroughly editing my manuscripts for adverbs--IMMEDIATELY!!

what think you? am i the only writer suffering horribly from this adverb affliction?


  1. mmmm nah i'd say a lot of us struggle with it in the beginning stages of an MS. they're like filler words that help us get through the sentences. but in retrospect they're almost never necessary.

    like, you could say, "i ran quickly to the store"
    but why not simply say, "i ran to the store"? the 'quickly' is IMPLIED in the act of RUNNING. not necessary.

    good luck weeding them out of your MS! hehe it's almost fun :D

  2. fun might not be the first word that comes to mind, but you never know, maybe i will enjoy it!! you're right, though--many times they aren't necessary. they may just be weighing my poor little MS down!

  3. Adverbs are sort of like grandma panties. I think we get a little attached to them cuz they've worked so well for us. But they're really rather hideous.

    I should say, though, that I don't think adverbs are always bad. In particular, it's the -ly adverb that seems to cause trouble.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm so glad I followed you back here.

  4. yep...I'm fond of adverbs. Mostly because my favs (Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling to name a few) are also fond of them, as evidenced in their work.

    However, I totally agree (heh) that you can use a strong verb to create a more vivid image as well as a snappier sentence. I try to use adverbs only when I feel that they actually add something to my story.

    hugs for the adverb-weeding adventure ;)

  5. Carolina--Thank YOU for visiting! sometimes those adverbs slip into our writing despite our best efforts, but you're right: they are often unnecessary : )

    Molly--yes JK Rowling has definitely attributed to my love of adverbs! I think I use them so much because of her (Jan Freeman's article was pretty much all about this, too).

    I still think adverbs have their place, but I'll try not to use them as a "crutch" in future. Thanks for the hugs!!! I think I'll need them...

    : )


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