This blog was featured on 11/28/2017
Why It's Good to Avoid Adverbs
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2017
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2017

One function of adverbs is to modify adjectives, in other words to describe something that already describes something. That alone should give you an idea of how necessary—or unnecessary—they are when used for this purpose.

For example:

  •  He drives really fast. 
  •  She is very happy.
  •  We are super glad to be here.

While the above sentences are fine in conversation, in written form they come across as uncreative, maybe even bland. Astute readers view using adverbs as lazy writing, so it's good to avoid them as best you can.

When I catch myself using an adverb to describe an adjective because the adjective doesn't sound right by itself, I try to come up with a more descriptive adjective or an analogy. 

For example:

Instead of:

  • He drives really fast.

Change to:

  •  He drives as if he were on the Autobahn.

Instead of:

  •  She is very happy.

Change to::

  •  She is ecstatic.

Instead of:

  •  We are super glad to be here.

Change to:

  •  We are thrilled to be here.

Another way to get around using adverbs is to include a beat (description of an action) that shows the reader what the adverb was meant to convey. 

For example:

Instead of:

  •  "Do we have to go in there?" Gloria asked nervously.

Change to:

  •  Tiny beads of sweat broke out on Gloria's forehead. "Do we have to go in there?" she asked.

Instead of:

  •  "It looks like we didn't get the contract," David said glumly.

Change to:

  •  David's face fell. "It looks we didn't get the contract."

Do you see the difference? It's not that using adverbs is grammatically wrong, rather that writing that doesn't include a ton of them is more original and engaging. And if your readers find your writing original and engaging, you are doing something right.

-Maria

Maria Murnane writes bestselling novels about life, love and friendship. Have questions? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2017 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

25 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (8)

12 articles
39 articles
107 articles
334 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • Process & Inspiration - Thinking Beyond The Edge...
  • How Facebook Advertising increased my book sales more...
  • Do Not Delete Your Memoir
  • Leslie Jamison on Originality, Boundaries and...
  • Manhattan Like Me: Or Why Location, Location,...
  • Worried about time? The answer might be different than...

Comments
No comments yet