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Why hate Adverbs?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

So many points to make - keep them sharp and to the point.

There are courses and articles and even rants about adverbs. Writers are advised on what not to do, sometimes to the extent that creativity is subjugated to the rules.

The first thing to decide, if you have a story ready for the writing, is to write. Get the story sorted and overlook the debate surrounding techniques and rules.

Concentrate on your characters and what happens to them, build the plot around them, make sure it's all about story at this stage. Pursue your plot, develop your characters, stay true to the premise of the work, and slog through the hard days or nights when the middle-story gets tough enough without getting stuck with technical stuff. Don't look for the perfect word or phrase while the story is bursting to be written in first draft. Just keep writing while there is a story to be told.

When you begin the edit, you will find adverbs that are annoying, embarrassing and unnecessary. You will also find some beautiful (did you see it!) adverbs - don't delete them!

Adverbs can add spice to the moment - they are not all bad. That said, there are often many that are superfluous in a first draft and they must be discarded.

Editing can be soul-destroying and boring but it requires concentration. It is where you find the rough edges of the writing and it is where you trap the adverb you used in a moment of emotion or carelessness.

Embrace the edit and edit hard. It is the process of polishing and refining, even as the rough opal is turned to a gem of beauty in the hands of an expert.

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