The Adverb Problem and Why Authors Should Care


A Writer's Path

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by Gary Smailes

In this article I will set out to explain why so many famous authors (Stephen King being perhaps the most vocal) warn other authors against the use of adverbs. In fact, King’s hatred of adverbs is so intense that he’s been quoted as saying, “Adverbs are evil.” You will discover the role of adverbs in fiction writing, and I’ll demonstrate why removing adverbs from your writing will make your book more enjoyable to read. In short, I’ll explain just why adverbs are evil.

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10 thoughts on “The Adverb Problem and Why Authors Should Care

  1. my oss in the US hates me using the passive voice (which seems to include intransitives!). it is v strange for me because here that is part of the national curriculum – not that I went to a state school but I did teach in one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephen King used several adverbs (even not including the ones he used as examples of what NOT to do) in his famous essay on why adverbs are bad writing. Think about that…

    FYI, “not” is an adverb. So is “sometimes.” (They both tell when the verb happens.) Not every adverb ends in -ly, and complete avoidance of adverbs is impossible in grammatically correct writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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