Tag Archives: Noun

Let’s Talk Adverbs and Is It Really Being Lazy

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Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.  They show us the manner and degree of an action.  You can spot adverbs by looking for words that explain the action in a sentence.

It seems the biggest crime for us writers is using (ly) adverbs.  I have read they should all be removed from our writing.  It is termed as lazy writing.  You want to know why it’s lazy, it’s because they are easy to use.  We will use adverbs instead of looking for the verb that will add the punch.

Ly adverbs almost always show the author explaining dialogue–smuggling emotions into speaker attributions that belong in the dialogue itself.  If the dialogue doesn’t need props, putting the props in will make it seem weak.

Bottom line is take the time to go through your writing and decide if you can replace the adverbs with stronger verbs.  It will make your writing stronger and tighter.

If you are using adverbs of time or frequency then they are an exception.  ie.  (Bad)I receive the paper every day. (Better) I receive the paper on a daily basis.

If an adverb has the same meaning as the verb being used then remove it.  If the verb is weak, you might replace it with a stronger verb.

The three most common adverbs are : not, very, and too.  It is recommended to avoid their use, but as with every other “rule” sometimes you have to use them.  No other words will do.

http://youtu.be/PIuN8aY51Xk  I hope you enjoy the video on adverbs.

What’s The Word!

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Do you know what the word is?  I certainly don’t know myself all the time.  The word is one little part of a whole that we writers put down on paper or screen to say what we want said.  Do we always use the right words?  I don’t because I don’t know them all.

We all search for the right words to use in our writing.  That one word that will add strength to what we are saying.  I was told that the dictionary or thesaurus, could be my best friend.  The English language as drawn words from other languages such as Latin, French, Spanish and Asian and more.  We do have quite an assortment of words to choose from.

We use words to describe what we want to say.  So how do we pick the right one? You and I as the writer determine that word or string of words.  I was told to beware of adjectives, and adverbs because it can lead to weak writing.

She skipped lightly into the large room, swiftly looking about to spot the one thing she wanted from the large ornate desk sitting amidst the shiny mahogany furniture.

The sentence above is just a bit heavy with adjectives that is not needed.  It can be written so simply by leaving out what is not needed.  She skipped into the large room, looking on the desk for the one thing she wanted.

We didn’t need all of the words in the first sentence to make a sentence which had a clearer read.  I had more than I needed.

Nouns and verbs can make a sentence very vibrant without all of the adjectives.  Focus on the best nouns and verbs  the find the modifiers that add to these words.

“Adjectives and adverbs are helper words, what the grammarians call “Modifiers.”  They help refine the impression cast by your true building blocks, nouns and verbs.  At a writers’ conference a few years ago, a supposedly clever expression was circulating:  Are your verbs working hard enough?  Granted, the expression isn’t all that clever, but it points to a truth.  The stronger your nouns and vers are, the better they can support your carefully chosen modifiers.”

This is a video by Adora Svidak which pertains to word choices.  Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCH3ciUK_X8