M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest !

One night, the teacher in our creative writing class said: adverbs are bad.

I felt called out, probably like most of the others 20 years old students there.

I was (still am) very fond of adverbs. I loved their rhythm, the way they would make emotions, places, moments clearer.

That being said, I was more eager to become a better writer than to fight for adverbs. And since, according to my teacher, a great open-minded author, relying on adverbs was a clear sign of lazy, unimaginative writing, I promptly banned them.

For years, I avoided them whenever possible, and felt like a bad writer whenever I was using them.

Over the years, I learned how to make peace with adverbs. I used them less for sure. And when I do use them, I go through these checkpoints:

  • Is it making things clearer or confusing?
  • Is the sentence flows nicely?
  • Is the adverbs necessary here?

When in doubt, I read the sentence out loud. Tell you the truth, I often read out loud, just to see if I trip on words or need to take a breath in the middle of a sentence (a clear sign that there’s a punctuation problem somewhere, or that the sentence is way too long).

So there it is, short and sweet, my tested writing tip on how to make peace with adverbs.

Thanks for reading this post. Feel free to show your support by buying a ko-fi to this crazy full-time Writer on a Quest, it is always very very much appreciated.

Until next time!

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