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Adverbs : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Adverbs

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Brien Sz
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Adverbs

Postby Brien Sz » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:40 pm

Stephen King states that one should kill as many adverbs (if not all) in their writing. Yet even he manages to use them, though sporadically. I get it. I understand the concept to minimize their use.

I recently attended ComicCon in NYC. There were plenty of book publishers pushing their various titles. The Random House booth gave away books. I managed to get three for free, Gilded Cage, a Star Wars book of some kind and Terry Brooks', The Shannara Chronicles. I read a Terry Brooks novel many years back. I remember it being something of a poor mans Tolkien. Since I haven't read fantasy in a while, I am giving it a go. So far, it isn't bad. However, where King believes in killing adverbs, Brooks looks to cultivate and breed them, using adverbs to the point of excess. It's at times rather disturbing.

Which really brings me to the observation, that it's the story that sells and as long as your grasp on grammar isn't abysmal, if you have a story that is catchy, you'll probably be okay. With this Brooks novel, I can't ever recall reading so many adverbs. I mean it's like he casts a net out into trout stocked waters and pulls them in. It seems he can't not use them. It's kind of funny in a way. that I try to minimize their use but here is this highly successful fantasy writer using adverbs like its the most normal thing to do.

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devildogwhite
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Re: Adverbs

Postby devildogwhite » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:21 pm

I've only been perusing these forums for the about... 7 or 8 months now, but I've learned many valuable lessons since. One of the key lessons I've taken away is that for every "rule" of writing you could possibly list, there's an author out there completely throwing it out the window, and being very successful while doing so. One of my favorite novels from childhood was Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," a book filled with intentionally poor grammar and an overabundance of slang, yet at the same time, a book that has withstood the test of time to become one of the "Great American Novels." Now I'm not about to use this as an excuse to be lazy with my own writing, but it's comforting to know I can branch out and try my own thing, even if it defies conventional wisdom.
There is no Miss Zarves. There is no nineteenth story. Sorry.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Adverbs

Postby shadowwalker » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:51 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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wdarcy
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Re: Adverbs

Postby wdarcy » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:08 pm

I agree with both Brian and Shadowwalker. I think adverbs have gotten a bad rap, along with other things, such as the verb to be and the passive voice. Sure, you don't want to overuse these things. But used judiciously they can be effective, and attempting to avoid them altogether will probably hamper your writing.

The usual argument is: "You're using an adverb to strengthen a weak verb. Don't. Instead, find a stronger verb." Ok, good advice. I get it. And maybe beginning writers need to follow those words of wisdom. But not every single adverb must be deleted.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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DrG2
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Re: Adverbs

Postby DrG2 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:26 pm


Cobalt Jade
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Re: Adverbs

Postby Cobalt Jade » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:35 am


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shadowwalker
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Re: Adverbs

Postby shadowwalker » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:05 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

williamadams
 

Re: Adverbs

Postby williamadams » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:16 pm

i like adverbs

there once was a web site called save the adverb
they are gone
we lost

RIP adverb


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