My spotlight on writing this week is all about adverbs. Currently, as I am working my way through editing The Price of Pandemonium I am waging war on adverbs. What? Those wonderfully, beautifully, amazingly useful words? Why would I want to get rid of them? They’re a little superfluous. Especially when you run into phrases such as “whispered quietly.” Not redundant in the slightest.
In particular, I am trying to cut down on ‘swifties’. These are adverbs that are inadvertently plugged in after dialogue.
Eg. “I can’t stop using adverbs!” Sarah said worriedly.
I’ve learned it is something writers do when they’re not confident the reader will be able to imagine the tone of what someone’s saying. I find these types of mistakes frequently in my writing from when I was younger. I call them my ‘lack of confidence mistakes’. They’re also evident with words like ‘slightly’ or ‘a little’. She looked slightly annoyed. He seemed a little perplexed. Commit. Don’t be afraid. And always, always…
BEWARE THE ADVERBS.