Tool 5 ~ Watch those adverbs.

I think this is why I love writing.

Adverbs are over-rated and usually useless. Except, as Clark points out, J. K. Rowlings used them out the wazzoo when describing speech, and Harry Potter is one of the best selling children’s series in the 20th century.

Go figure.

Adverbs are best when you . . .

“Use them to change the meaning of the verb.”

Clark’s examples of great adverbs throw a sentence or at least its meaning into a paradox:

1. “She smiled sadly” (29).

2. “The audience pattered applause” (28).

3. “I thank you for your sweetly faked attention” (29).

The adverb distinctly contradicted the original meaning of the verb, making it interesting.

When used well, adverbs “spice up a verb or adjective. At their worst, they express a meaning already contained in it” (27).

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One thought on “Tool 5 ~ Watch those adverbs.

  1. Pingback: Rules of Fiction Writing | Susan Sheehey

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