If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to read every useful bit of information on the internet that has anything to do with writing, in an attempt to improve your craft. Quite a few articles I’ve read recently have been about authors’ use of adverbs.
Apparently, a common mistake of newbie writers is the overuse of these tricksy little words. I’m assuming most other people are pretty confident in their understanding of adverbs, but for the few of you who, like me, are not quite so sure, here’s a quick overview:
An ADVERB is not the same as a verb, or an adjective (common mistake).
A verb is a ‘doing’ word (e.g. the dog barked).
An adjective modifies/describes nouns (e.g. the good dog).
An adverb modifies verbs/other adverbs/adjectives (e.g. the good dog barked playfully).
These are obviously very basic examples, but hopefully you’ll get the idea. Often, adverbs end in ‘-ly’, although there are exceptions to this, as shown in the picture above, of common adverbs.
Have a quick look at your manuscript (MS) and see how many adverbs you’ve used. There’s nothing wrong with a few here and there, but if they crop up all over the place, it might be worth going through and seeing if there is a better way to write what you’re trying to say. My WIP wasn’t too bad, but there were a few instances where I was able to make my sentences a little more concise.