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  1. #1
    Today! is offline Newbie
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    Default Adverbs in literature

    I have read several professional critics, and regular people, criticize, rather harshly if I may add, authors who used adverbs. In fact, I was reading an article in a magazine and the person who wrote it recommended to double check also your adverbs, just to make sure none slip in.

    Why are adverbs consider wrong when writing? To give an example I was reading an article (rather old in fact) about someone criticizing JKRowling for her liberal use of adverbs. Can someone give me a more detail explanation on what's the problem with this. If adverbs are wrong why do they even exist? I feel like I'm missing something.

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    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adverbs in literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Today! View Post
    I have read several professional critics, and regular people, criticize, rather harshly if I may add, authors who used adverbs. In fact, I was reading an article in a magazine and the person who wrote it recommended to double check also your adverbs, just to make sure none slip in.

    Why are adverbs consider wrong when writing? To give an example I was reading an article (rather old in fact) about someone criticizing JKRowling for her liberal use of adverbs. Can someone give me a more detail explanation on what's the problem with this. If adverbs are wrong why do they even exist? I feel like I'm missing something.
    There's nothing wrong with adverbs. Of course, as with anything, they can be overused. (I tend to overuse commas and parentheses by today's standards, but it's something I'm working on. I certainly wouldn't want to do an edit/delete for all my punctuation though!)
    Didn't the articles you read give some reason for saying they didn't like adverbs? Could you possible give a specific reference, or post part of the article?

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    Default Re: Adverbs in literature

    nonsense - you can't write anything worthwhile without adverbs and adverbial phrases.

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    Default Re: Adverbs in literature

    Today, have a look at these responses:

    Viewing a thread - What's wrong with adverbs?.

    Young Writers Society - Adverbs...



    Don’t neglect to use an adjective or adverb if it fits what you are trying to write. But don’t rely on them. Strive to trim out the adverbs. Let your verbs speak. They are action words in their own right. The result will be clear, fast-paced writing that acts and involves your readers instead of just telling them something.

    How do you feel about adverbs? I advise using them sparingly


    _____________________________________


    I once belonged to a forum (not writingforums.com , either, a different one, for those of you who know me from there) that told me to take out almost all of my adverbs. The problem with this was they wanted me to take out the adverb, and then replace it with a few more lines of writing to describe. They gave me an example like 'She turned her head briskly' vs 'She turned her head. The motion sent her hair whisking across her face...' and it went on for about four more lines.


    That advice, in my opinion, is just garbage. It was over-description, if you ask me. Use adverbs, just don't overdo it is my suggestion.

    Source:norris_redford http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/viewtopic.php?t=64

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    Default Re: Adverbs in literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Today! View Post
    Why are adverbs consider wrong when writing? To give an example I was reading an article (rather old in fact) about someone criticizing JKRowling for her liberal use of adverbs. Can someone give me a more detail explanation on what's the problem with this. If adverbs are wrong why do they even exist? I feel like I'm missing something.
    When someone is as successful as J.K. Rowling is bound to attract quite savage critics.

    I did not see the 'overuse' anywhere. Adverbs are useful, and are there to be used.

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    Default Re: Adverbs in literature

    When someone is as successful as J.K. Rowling is bound to attract quite savage critics.


    Nothing like someone's success to incite the eruption of the character failings of others.
    Envy for one.

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    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adverbs in literature

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    When someone is as successful as J.K. Rowling is bound to attract quite savage critics.


    Nothing like someone's success to incite the eruption of the character failings of others.
    Envy for one.
    Yes - I envy her her success, but not her style. If you offered me all her fame and fortune, but the cost was that I should start writing like her, I'd give the fame and fortune a miss.

    While we're on the subject, I don't think it's accidental that her first Harry Potter book was about half the length of all the other ones; maybe - when she was unknown and unpublished - she had an editor who cut the extraneous adverbs out.

    She is the one case when I actually prefer 'the book of the film' - I can enjoy the plots and the characters without the mental red pencil spoiling the effect.

    But this thread isn't about J.K.Rowling. I return you to your normal service...

    b

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