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Adverbs...



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Sun Nov 21, 2004 6:16 am
ZZAP says...



Okay, for some reason I've heard rumors that a good writer has minimal adverbs in his performance piece. Is this supposed to be true? I thought it's about fully describing the situation, showing the audience what's happening. Arrrrrgh! SO confusing, I hate it!

-ZZAP
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Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:03 am
Myriadne says...



It is true, not minimal perse, but a piece should not be overly adjective or adverb heavy. It simply goes back to the old adage "show don't tell" Instead of using adverbs chose interesting verbs. According to my english teacher the verb is the powerhouse of the sentence :) eg, "instead of she ran quickly towards him" you could have "she dashed towards him" alright that is a very bad example but it was all I could come up with.
  





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Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:07 am
Nate says...



Yeah, that's what they say, but it's not something I entirely agree with. I mean, saying something like "She slowly approached the door" sounds perfectly alright to me. I guess you could change it to "Her footsteps inched toward the door," but that sounds too verbose to me. I'd say, be careful about using adverbs, but don't go out of your way to avoid them.
Last edited by Nate on Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:35 am
Elelel says...



My English teacher tells us the same thing... but I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid them. But it is true that a good verb can be alot more powerful and effective than a million adverbs and adjectives...
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Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:32 pm
ZZAP says...



I love adverbs, especially combined with a smashing verb... Talk about powerhouse. No, it's a matter of effectiveness between the two words: verb and adverb. Of coarse, the verb is the biggest thing for now. The adverb directs the reason and existance of the verb, which speaks by itself. In so being- Arrggggg!! Crap! GTG!

-Z
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Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:08 am
Elelel says...



When my English teacher told me that you're meant to limit the use of adjectives and adverbs, I was pretty shocked. Particually since we had spent the last few weeks learning how to use them... :?
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Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:13 am
ZZAP says...



Testing... Testing...
Job well done...

-ZZAP
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Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:30 pm
norris_redford says...



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.
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Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:11 pm
WinterGrimm says...



The real problem with adverbs is that while they may seem to increase the impact of a verb in reality, at least most of the time, they do not. One rule of thumb is to never use more than one adverb at a time. Its wordy and they tend to weeken each other. Secondly, in the revision stage, look at each of you adverb choices, remove the adverb and read the sentence. Chances are you are saying the same thing without the adverb. I just found this out when I took chapter one of a book I'm working on to my writer's group. I think out of 10 pages of double spaced text I took out all but perhaps two adverbs because I realized that I didn't need them and the sentences were just as strong, if not stronger without them. Also there are adverbs that editors will alway cut out of stories. These words we use in daily speech but when they're on the page they do nothing for the story. These are really and very. Never use them. And by never of course I don't really mean never because there are always ways that writing rules can be broken. But for the most part its all about keeping wordiness out of your story. With all writing, be it poetry, novels, or short stories, (especially short stories) the idea is to tell an effective story, making every word you use cound. Every word must enhance the story and not be stumbling blocks to hinder it.
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Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:39 pm
Crysi says...



*nods* I think you just have to find a balance. A good writer can write something powerful with only a few adverbs, but it can be difficult to achieve. Too many adverbs clutters up the page and makes it difficult to read through. I learned this while reading through part of my second chapter, in which I used a bunch of adverbs that I felt really fit with the scene. The trick is to spread them out (or eliminate some of them) so that it adds just a touch of definition to the action, instead of confusing the reader with a million different actions.
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Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:38 am
Yrael says...



I wouldn't over use adverbs, but they can be extremely effective when used correctly. Maybe not all of you know this, but adverbs can be used to describe 3 parts of speech.

1. Verbs - The lightning quickly struck the ground.

2. Adjectives - The gash was absolutely sickening.

3. Adverbs - The gash was suddenly entirely coated with crimson blood.

The adverb modifying is italic, and the word that is being modified is underlined.
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