Welcome to April and the start of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
This month, I will publish 26 posts, each inspired by a letter of the alphabet. I get each Sunday off for good behaviour. Or is that YOU get each Sunday off?
This is the first time I’ve participated in this challenge and therefore a BIG thank you to A to Z founder, Arlee Bird.
A is for ADVERBS.
Love ’em or … not.
As a fiction writer, I’m bombarded with advice informing me that adverbs are evil. They are weak and lazy writing, I should stop using them and obliterate any I’ve used in my writing.
Who said a thing like that?
Many writers. Stephen King reckons: “The adverb is not your friend. . . .” He goes on to say “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” and Theodore Roethke said, “In order to write good stuff you have to hate adverbs.”
I use adverbs, I’m sure we all do, but I try to limit their use. And, I try to avoid the -ly adverbs wherever I can. You know the ones I mean.
Rather than “Gertrude walked quickly down the path.“
Why not “Gertrude hurried down the path.” or “Gertrude scampered down the path.“
When I studied creative writing, we were told, in no uncertain terms, that ADVERBS were bad. Yes, they were evil. Nasty little critters that lurk in the undergrowth of our sentences and ruin our writing.
One of the authors I read (and like) – a multi-million best-selling author – uses them a lot in his writing. His prose is littered with: “He said, angrily.” type comments
“Don’t do that,” he said, angrily.
Don’t TELL us with an adverb. SHOW us using action.
“Don’t do that,” he said as he slammed his fist down on the table. The mug of tea splattered across the crossword.
When I write a first draft, I allow myself all sorts of weak words in my prose. It’s only a first draft and it’s there to put the basics down on to the page, adverbs and all. Drafting is all about improving your work and the second draft is where I try to remove the telling and improve on my showing.
So, for me, I use the ADVERB as a place holder. Remind myself what I want the character to do later when I polish the narrative.
What do you think about the evil Mr Adverb? Love him? or secretly want him to drown?
This is my A post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
I’ve rifled through some old photographs and thought I would also share some random shots from down the years with each post, inspired by A to Z of course.
Today are pictures of my cat Abraham (Abe to you and me). He died back in 2007 and it was nice to see him looking so youthful!