05 November 2006
Die, adverbs, die!
Note of personal interest: I recently did an -ly search on my book, a 116,000 word fantasy novel. I'm readying it for submission, and I read the suggestion on an author's website. I've never thought of myself as particularly adverbial, but this exercise proved that theory wrong. My manuscript is now over ONE THOUSAND words shorter, and a better read, I believe. Adverbs tell, not show. Most adverbs signify lazy writing, as Brian says, and as an editor I'm always on the lookout for them. But, as is so common, I missed a great deal of them in my own work. I'd suggest the -ly search and see if it doesn't improve your writing. I think you'll often find they aren't needed at all.