A Few Words on Adverbs

A Few Words on Adverbs

by Adam Huddleston

 It has been said that the road to, well, let’s just say a rather “toasty” destination, is paved with adverbs. While I don’t harbor a fierce hatred for those “-ly” words, I do see a glimmer of truth in the proverb.

One of the basic precepts of writing is to keep it short and sweet. Why use three weak words when one strong one will do?

For example: The man talked quickly. How about: The man babbled.

Or: The deer swiftly ran. Instead: The deer galloped.

Eliminating needless words will make your work cleaner and your chosen words stand out. That being said, you don’t have to be an “adverb Nazi”! There are many lonely adverbs out there looking for a loving home and many verbs which cannot be changed so easily.

My advice; read through your writing a few times and see if it sounds too wordy or cluttered. If it does, start chunking those adverbs and see how “quickly” your work improves!

Happy writing!

 

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