Lately, I’ve been struggling a lot with overusing adverbs and adjectives; at least that’s what I’ve been hearing from my writing group. The first few times someone mentioned it, I thought, oh I must have used too many in this chapter. But as time has gone by, I’ve realized that I keep getting the same feedback. This got me thinking, what’s wrong with too many adjectives and adverbs?
I started looking online for the answer to this question, which ended up being so simple, I was surprised I’d had such a hard time figuring it in the first place. Maybe I’m the only one who has struggled with this problem, but I thought I’d share my conclusions all the same.
The Main Problem: Using an adjective or adverb often means you didn’t use a strong enough verb or noun in the first place. Bingo.
Secondary Problem: Using too many adjectives and adverbs often “waters down” your sentences and makes them less powerful.
- Poor Example: The car moved swiftly down the road.
- Good Example: The car raced down the road.
- This is an example of how using the right word is more powerful than two good words.
- Poor Example: The child screamed loudly.
- Good Example: The child screamed.
- This is an example of how removing the adverb gives the sentence more power.
I hope this helped anyone who has been struggling with the same problem. I know I’m excited to start applying this new knowledge to my own writing.
Also, my friend recommended this book to me, so I recently purchased it from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446370290/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER