Skill 4.13: Avoid Adverbs

Leave adverbs out of your writing (all –ly words are adverbs, and others can be used as adverbs as well) Why is it bad to use adverbs? Adverbs explain in a direct way, which is bad, since we want to “show” not tell.

Example: Jessica reached timidly for Jim’s hand. “Yes, I’d love to dance.”

Better (show she is timed): Jessica stared at Jim’s outstretched hand. “Me? Well, I’d. . .” Her hand trembled as she reached for his. “Yes, I mean. Sure. I’d love to dance.”

There’s nothing more to it. Let’s move on.


Go to Skill 4.14: Figurative Language

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