Saturday, June 08, 2013

More Naughty "Sleight of Hand"

As per my previous post, here's a guy who's had some decent
publication credits and writes about adverbs

But it's the unsubtle beginning that I object to.

That word NEVER.

The “Avoid Adverbs” 

Rule is (Very) Wrong

Nope, wrong
As a writer, you’ve heard the “rule” about never using adverbs. This rule is wrong for two reasons:
  1. There is nothing wrong with adverbs.
  2. There are no rules in writing… unless you are a weak writer.

And this is precisely what I'm talking about.

Is there a "RULE" out there that says NEVER, EVER use adverbs?

Where is it? Which author said it?

Mark Twain is often cited but he said, "If in doubt, take it out"

What seems to happen, time and again, is that pages of advice get condensed down to sound-bytes and we argue over that sound-byte

Did Mark Twain say all adverbs are bad all of the time?

Did Stephen King?

Do I?

Of course not. My article on this blog clearly shows that judicious use of adverbs is fine. There is even a case for not using the strongest verb if there is something else to be gained, like rhythm, flow, emphasis 

But the reality is beginners and many intermediates don't choose their nouns and verbs carefully. Because they don't choose the best noun and verb they often HAVE to modify to express their meaning.

Second, many beginners think piling on the adverbs is actually GOOD WRITING, that adjectives and adverbs add richness. Most of the time they don't. Only OCCASIONALLY do they work like that.

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