Sunday, 15 November 2009

Adverb hell


I really, truly thought that my usage of adverbs was, at most, really rather moderate. Turns out I was completely wrong.


It's rather funny how relatively simply the little buggers find their way into your work...

Thankfully, "Find All" + "ly" + "Highlight" makes finding most of them pretty easy.

If you'll excuse me, I have further editing to do. :)



erica m. chapman said...

Pesky buggers. Go get em!

bettielee said...

They're like zombies, just when you think you've shotgunned all the bastards through the forehead, they come swarming up through the basement. :)

Dolly said...

I posted about similar issue - though of course mine is about first draft, so it's far worse.

You know, if they don't want us to use adverbs, the language should't have them :P - ok fine, I am looking for an easy way. Not looking forward to editing just yet.

How is your "professional" editing experience going?

Adam said...

Erica - I'm working on it! :D

Bettielee - Eep, zombies! Why'd ya have to bring scary stuff into it?! *Cowers in a corner*

LW - My first drafts share many similarities with car crashes. Not pretty. :)
I disagree with the consensus that "all" adverbs are bad, but I definitely have WAY too many.
The professional part of the editing hasn't started yet; I'm working on what Lyrical call "pre-edits" which is like a final overhaul done in the author's voice before the copy editor jumps in. I've spoken to my editor though, and she's lovely (and I'm not just saying that in case she reads this!) ;-)


Melanie Hooyenga said...

Ha! I've had to force myself to allow myself (hello Mr. Powers) to include adverbs. I think my first draft of novel #1 didn't have a single -ly word. I had them scared out of me at AW. Now I allow them, but sparingly.


Adam said...

Yup, AW tends to "overdo" the adverb hate a smidge. Still, I have waaaaay too many at the moment. ;)


Jamie D. said...

But I love adverbs. *pouts*

Yeah, I know. Moderation is good.

Best of luck with the edits! You're getting published! :-)

Adam said...

I do too, just to a lesser extent than I currently have. ;-)



Kathy said...

And you used a bunch in your post.

Adam said...

Psst! Kathy!

That was intentional!


Cynthia Selwyn said...

I never knew what the big deal was about adverbs when I first started writing with intent. You know, they're just words. But over time, I've learned I use them when I feel lazy, when I don't feel like (or don't know how to) describe something. I've discovered they're telling instead of showing words. Think about it: "He ran until his blood pounded and his breath hitched" vs. "He ran quickly".

Oops. Taking off the English teacher hat. Good post, Adam! Lots to think about. ;)

Adam said...

I agree, Cynthia. I just feel that removing EVERY adverb (as I've been recommended to in the past) is overkill. Sometimes nothing beats an adverb, especially in dialogue, where you want it to sound as realistic as you can. :-)


(By the way, Cynthia is my copy editor!)

Kathy said...

Adam, I agree with you.

Everything in moderation. As long as adverbs exist, we might as well use a few!

Anonymous said...

I like adverbs. I figure it they were good enough for F. Scott Fitzgerald, they're good enough for me.

Unknown said...

I was editing a lab report for my daughter, and there were adverbs everywhere! I had to give a crash course in the adversarial adverb.

Adam said...

Thanks for the comments, Kathy, SF and KLo.

Also, ooooh! KLo, you have a Dark Tower blog! I'll have to have a look once I finish the last book. :D