One writer stated that adverbs are ‘the death of good fiction writing’… calling it ‘creative destruction’.
What do you think? Are adverbs really that bad?
First of all, what is an adverb? An adverb is a part of speech that, according to Cambridge Dictionary, ‘describes or gives more information about a verb, adjective, adverb or phrase’.
Example: He ran quickly. / I will stop by tomorrow. / Mom visits often.
As you notice from the above examples, an adverb is more than a word ending in ‘ly’.
Being one of the four major classes of parts of speech (the other three being: nouns, verbs & adjectives), adverbs do have important functions and when used effectively, they not only modify, but enhance your fiction writing without destroying creativity.
Each part of speech has its own function: a noun names a person, animal, place or thing, a verb shows an action or state of being, an adjective describes or even modifies a noun- all three are useful and necessary when it comes to fiction writing… so too are adverbs!
A common mistake that writers make, is believing that adverbs are only those ‘ly’ words… finally, utterly, angrily and so on. Adverbs not only tell the ‘how’, but also the ‘when’ and ‘where’.
Example: Alex decided she would visit her parents the next day. She had made up her mind… it was time to go home.
Would you remove those adverbs from the above sentences? Of course not.
So the problem is not the use of adverbs, but the misuse of adverbs. As a writer, you are always working on your skill. If you’re thinking of removing or never using adverbs in your WIP, why not learn more about adverbs and understand the best way to use them?