2017 THEME: Editing Fiction (Because that's what I'm in the middle of doing.)
What is the Blogging from A to Z challenge and where can I find more participants? Right here.
We'll launch into April with one of the big "Rules" that people like to throw around.
Kill all the Adverbs!
What's with all the hate? Well, in many cases, the overuse of adverbs means lazy writing. It's the difference between:
John walked slowly.
John dragged his feet along the sidewalk with the enthusiasm of a drowsy tortoise.
One tells you that he walked slowly. The other shows you.
My general rule is if there's a stronger way to portray what the adverb is saying then it should be eliminated and the sentence rewritten.
When should the adverb remain?
- When avoiding the adverb makes the sentence awkward or disrupts the rhythm/flow.
- When it feels unnatural to avoid them.
- You know what, sometimes John is really just walking slowly and the word count is tight, and dammit, that's what I mean to say.
What are your thoughts on adverbs?