• E. Paige Burks

Writing Tip: Cutting Pesky Adverbs

I’m guilty of using too many adverbs as well, just like the rest of us!

Joynell Schultz


I love beta reading a good story, and I’ve done a lot of it in the past  year. From the first page of a story, I can tell a new writer from one that’s more experienced by a handful of things I read. One of them is adverb use.

I think everyone knows what an adverb is…but as a refresher, it’s a word used to modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Usually it is a descriptor clarifying How, How Often, When, or Where. What does that mean? Many adverbs don’t end in the hallmark -ly, but most of them do, like happily, softly, quickly, etc. that changes the meaning of the verb. Examples:

  1. spoke softly

  2. walked quietly

  3. Easily avoided a punch

  4. Quickly ran away

  5. Deadly gaze

So, what’s wrong with adverbs? While I’m reading, these -ly adverbs makes my brain halt while I change my…

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