Every writer has heard that advice at some point. I even saw some writers talking about it on Facebook last week. But, should you follow it?
Adverbs are communication shortcuts, the reason they are disdained is that they are usually vague and do not evoke an image or experience or feeling in the reader. The 'Y' suffix means 'characterized by', so angrily means 'with anger', 'sexily' means 'evoking sexual attraction', etc.
This makes them labels of a state, and a form of "telling" instead of "showing". Of course many adjectives, metaphors and similes fall into the same category, it doesn't make the writing a whit better to say "Joe said, with anger.
The same goes for an adjective like "beautiful". If a girl, a landscape, a house and a judo move can all be described as "beautiful", the word cannot be really conveying much meaning beyond a vague pointing well north or well south of something you like or your character likes.
Another warning sign of this type of adverb or adjective is if in your experience people combine it intensifiers or modifiers: If it needs such modifiers, there is probably a better word or description, like "furious", or "Joe's face trembled with fury, as if his mind raced over methods of murder.
It is common for us to use hyperbole and intensify broad descriptions in our conversations. The most beautiful girl I've ever seen, the sexiest man alive, etc. So realistic speech can plausibly use such adverbs, and doing otherwise can seem unnatural.
In real life we would never say "Joe's face trembled with fury," we'd say "He was very very angry, just furious. We also tend to want to get the general shape of our thought out quickly, and instinctively accompany this with expression, gestures, vocal pitch or volume, and body language.
None of which can be sensed by a reader, which is why you wish to avoid "label" adverbs and adjectives in exposition; they are much less meaningful without all that non-verbal communication.
So good exposition writing should find more specific language that better conveys the images and scenes. Which requires more work by the writer: Which is fine for a start, but should be recognized and fixed once the scene is complete my preference or in a rewrite not my preference since the images of the scene not fully captured in the text may have been forgotten in writing many following scenes.
As for thoughts, it is a good idea for thought to follow feeling, thought is often a language generalization of some more specific feeling. In exposition you can describe the feeling with more imagery and detail, and, just like in actual speech, the character's internal dialogue may capture their own feeling with a label.
I can describe the effect seeing a dress has on my character, describe it, and then her thought can be labeling: This is so beautiful, she thought.
For an adverb in thought, that would usually apply to somebody else, not themselves: As he said the words, Sandy heard the sharp edge in his voice, the volume raised, his face tensed as if in hatred.
Why is he talking so angrily? Not all adverbs in exposition are bad. What is bad in writing is being vague when being more specific would bring more clarity of image and experience for the reader. But this requires the writer to be somewhat judicious, we also must pay attention to pace and we cannot address every detail, especially if a broad indication is enough.
I can say "Jerry enjoyed the food at Mike's, and went there often. If Jerry is asking a girl out on a first date, focusing on the present might be more important: Mike's is where he went alone most often, but it was more a comfortable studying dive, maybe not a first date place.
We could check that out.An adverb is simply a word that describes a verb (an action or a doing word). • He ate his breakfast quickly. The word 'quickly' is an adverb as it tells us how he ate (the verb) his breakfast.
Writing Prompts is an excellent website full of creative writing resources to use in class. I get pupils to choose one at random, and as they write, I write. I get pupils to choose one at random. And the last four examples are good points that have successfully summarised the entire lesson every writer needs on adverbs.
Interestingly though, after reading Stephen King’s On Writing, I came off with the notion that adverbs are just too lame and should never appear in writing. Other adverbs of possibility usually come in front of the main verb: for example "they should definetly come" or "they definetly should come" The United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
An adverb is simply a word that describes a verb (an action or a doing word). • He ate his breakfast quickly. The word 'quickly' is an adverb as it tells us how he ate (the verb) his breakfast. Adjectives and adverbs are fine in moderation, but strong verbs will propel your writing forward and engage your reader in a sensory adventure. Choosing the right words can make the difference between flat, tedious writing and writing that sings a clear, sweet song. Sentence diagramming can teach you what an adverb does. Sentence diagramming is a visual way to show how the words in a sentence are related to each other. You already know that adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
Adverbs - Finding Adverbs in a Sentence Interactive PowerPoint. An animated PowerPoint on identifying adverbs in sentences has introductory slides on adverbs that tell how, where, when and to what extent, with examples.
Excerpts from The Essential Handbook for Business Writing. Sample Business Letters persuasive writing sales letters letters of complaint response to a complaint letters of refusal nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.
Examples: (inﬁnitives are underlined) 1) She decided to resign as chairperson of the committee. (noun).