I've received the Queen of Quill award from Victoria Lindstrom this past week. Thank you, Victoria! Visit her blog HERE and see the sweet things she said about me, Julie Musil, Kristine Birch, Kriston Johnson, and Tanya Reimer.
Victoria is celebrating her first year of blogging--stop by and follow her!
Let's give her big writerly congrats, and boost her Followers from 19 to…??
I love to promote SPUNK & BITE: A writer's guide to bold, contemporary style by Arthur Plotnik. It's such a fun book! It instructs on how to dust off clichés and enliven tired prose. It gives writers ideas about how to make their writing unforgettable. One chapter in this book (chapter 6) is about adverbs. Here's my version/summary of it.
Adverbs tell us where, when, how, how much, why, etc. Most but not all end in -ly.
Adverbs usually TELL rather than SHOW. They often indicate lazy writing and can be replaced by a more colorful verb or phrase. Commonly overused in romance novels.
Cliché adverb telling: She ran speedily to the door.
Using a more active verb: She dashed to the door. OR She raced to the door.
Rephrasing completely: She reached the door in three seconds flat.
Cliché adverb telling: "Don't do that," Nick said angrily.
Using a more active verb: "Don't do that," Nick bellowed.
Rephrasing (SHOWING anger): "Don't do that." Nick slammed the door in her face.
Smart (-aleck?) locutions
More witty or clever usages of adverbs can be coined. Used this way, they can be humorous, oxymoronic, hyperbolic, ironic, and quite thought-provoking. They add to passages of prose in a non-cliché, informative manner. Here are a few of Mr. Plotnik's examples:
In these examples, the total meaning of the verb or sentence would be lost or altered if the adverb wasn't there. Sometimes adverbs ARE necessary and can be fresh! Mr. Plotnik warns, however, not to go overboard. He states: "Locutions that work too hard can grow as tiresome as facile ones." Easy oxymoronic constructions can turn cliché or undesirable in short order.
Can you visit or follow Victoria's blog to help celebrate her blog's 1st birthday?
Do you liberally pepper adverbs all over your prose?
Are you afraid to use adverbs, since the writerly community often frowns upon them?
Have you ever thought of using adverbs in a fresh, unique way?