Today’s Writing Tip

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Overuse of adverbs is another symptom of amateur or sloppy writing. Often they can be avoided by using a better verb. For example, instead of saying “He walked slowly” use strolled, dragged his feet, etc. It’s usually possible to incorporate more imagery as well as emotion into the scene by using the correct word.

Getting rid of adverbs is something you should do during your first edit, if not before. One way to find them, as one author friend of mine has noted in this forum, is to search on words ending in “ly”. If stopping to find a better verb interrupts your creative flow, then clean them up later. Just make sure you do. After you’ve been writing for a while and expanded your vocabulary, this will become automatic.

There are certain bad writing practices that are common to new writers and this is one of them. Clean up these bad habits little by little and you’ll eventually be seen as a true professional.


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