Some words of wisdom for using adverbs and Adjectives

This short post explains why you should limit your use of these bad boys.  Many early fiction writers used plenty of them.

For any kind of writing, verbs are the most important tool a writer has.  For non-fiction, it’s best to avoid them altogether unless they add new meaning. The general rule is, that you should only use them if they add something to the sentence. EB Strunk explains: “It is nouns and verbs, not their assistants that give good writing its toughness and color.”

Second, they add clutter and make more work for the reader.  In general, it’s preferable to omit needless words.  Adverbs weaken strong verbs. Adjectives are ok if the noun needs explanation.

Adjectives are ok if the noun needs explanation, other adds something to the sentence…or if they are part of a character’s speech patterns.

Many professionals have said that too many adjectives and adverbs weaken the writing.  It makes writing more vigorous and concise.  The less clutter in your sentences the easier it is to read.  It really depends on the kind of writing you are doing.  If you are writing ads you don’t want to lose your reader.  The less clutter in your sentences the easier it is for your audience.

Remember that most strong sentences have a verb and a noun.  Don’t use them to increase your word count-editors aren’t stupid.


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