Guest Post – What’s Wrong with Adverbs? by Renee Scattergood, Author of the Shadow Stalker Series


The Quiet Fantasy Book Blog

What’s Wrong with Adverbs?

By Renee Scattergood

When you decide to become a serious writer, one of the things drilled into you from the start is use adverbs sparingly, especially the –ly ones. Yes, I did that on purpose because I find it funny that we’re told not to limit our use of adverbs with the use of an adverb. At first, I was really paranoid about using them. Then one day I realized, I didn’t even know why we’re supposed to avoid them. I started asking people and the most common answers were “they make your work look amateurish” and “that’s how it’s always been done”.

Not good enough.

When I am told not to use something in my writing, I want to know why it’s considered amateurish and why it’s always been done that way. Otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, people do it because someone decided…

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One thought on “Guest Post – What’s Wrong with Adverbs? by Renee Scattergood, Author of the Shadow Stalker Series

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  1. Stephen King would tell you it’s because there’s a verb which implies the adverb. It becomes assumed that if you have to use an adverb, your verb vocabulary needs increasing.

    However, the whole, “That’s how it’s always been done”? Bunkus. The steampunk and horror forefathers of Wells, Poe, Verne, and so on, as well as just going back to Victorian literature, is laced with adverbs.

    As for -ly, usually it can be written better. I kind of agree on that one. “He kissed her romantically” is much better said with, “He pressed his lips against hers and held the embrace, gently, his hands reaching a little lower than her hips. But she didn’t care.” But I’m sure there are times where -ly works out.

    Liked by 1 person

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