“Adverbs burned my village!”
That’s what author Gregory S. Close once said to me, his joking way of explaining his campaign to eradicate adverbs from his own writing at any cost.
“Effortlessly paled and backed away at the sight of Adverb’s Bane. She had escaped the pogroms, the culling, the scourges, and the bloody brutal murders over the years – but now she saw her doom reflected on the gleaming blade. She could only hope her children, Luckily and Haltingly, would fare better. She closed her eyes, and it was all over… .”
– Excerpt from DARKBLOOD SHADOWSTALKER: ADVERB’S BANE, Chapter 5
(I seem to recall responding with, “Get over it, already. Humans burned Raven’s village when he was a youngster, and you don’t see him going around hating humans now, do you?” I would like to think that I have convinced Mr. Close that some adverbs can be good neighbors and are rather nice to have around.)
I have never understood the constant shouting that the use of adverbs is always Bad Writing. I have reached the conclusion in recent months that it started with someone too lazy to teach how to choose when to use adverbs and when not to; it was easier to simply say, “Never use adverbs!” (Laugh at the irony: never IS an adverb.) While it is true that some people rely too much on adverbs, adding one at the end of every frakkin’ dialogue tag (which, by the way, will make your editor throw the manuscript across the room in frustration — no mean feat when the manuscript is electronic), that is no reason to insist that they be deleted from the language. Baby with the bathwater, and all that.