NO ADVERBS: The Reason Behind the Rule

Going Verbal

If you’ve read any guide about improving your writing, you’ve heard the “No Adverbs” rule. Cross them out, delete them, take a tiny lighter and burn a hole through every –ly word that dares rear its ugly head until your manuscript looks like Swiss cheese, but don’t you ever, under any circumstances, ever use an adverb!

… Really?

Come on, folks. Adverbs are perfectly functional members of language society. It’s not their fault they’re so easily misused.

Adverbs are descriptors for verbs and adjectives, just like adjectives are descriptors for nouns. They tend to end in –ly, though there are adverbs that don’t (fast, regardless, seldom) and other non-adverb words that do (lovely, imply, gravelly).

(To quote a certain pirate movie: “Hang the code, and hang the rules. They’re more like guidelines anyway.”)

The problem arises when you use an adverb to support a word that’s not pulling…

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Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid in Writing Fiction…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Filter words act like a veil between the reader and the character

by Kathy Steinemann  on Anne R. Allen site:

This article provides a list of writing filters, with practical examples of how to replace them. You’ll also find exercises that can double as story prompts.

All words exist for a reason. Use them wisely to create engaging narrative.

Why the fuss?

Filter words form a barrier that distances readers from a story.

Bertie felt the warm sand between her toes as she walked.

Bertie’s experience is relayed secondhand. When word economy is critical, this approach works. However, wouldn’t you rather become so involved that you almost feel it yourself?

With a few tweaks, we can strengthen the sentence.

The sand trickled between Bertie’s toes, radiating warmth with every step she took.

Strong verbs, trickled and radiating, amplify the sensory impact.

Five senses? Six? Twelve?

Most people can name…

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Contractions

No, I'm not talking about a woman in labor. I'm talking about grammar, and how it effects the play of your sentences. I'm talking about how to use it to give your writing more umph. Contractions, I'm sure most of you know, is when two or more words are combined into one, shortened form, using … Continue reading Contractions