Friday, February 10, 2012

Earnestly Dissing Ernest

Yo. Me and Papa Hemingway are hanging at The Debutante Ball today. Come say hi. Check your adverbs at the door.

Okay, so Ernie isn't really there with me. Which is just as well, because I'm kind of dissing him. Well, retroactively dissing him.

But I make up for at the end. Sort of.

Okay, not really. But I soften it.

*sighs* Honestly, I think it all would have worked out better if only he hadn't had such a phobia about adverbs. They really aren't the devil. When applied judiciously, they can even be quite helpful.

What's your take on adverbs in fiction writing?

A. Love 'em!

B. Hate 'em!

C. What's an adverb?

16 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

Like everything else, perfect in their place. You just have to know where that is :-)

Michele Shaw said...

I usually use them sparingly because I like to speak plainly. Wait, what?

Karla Nellenbach said...

love them! admittedly, maybe too much. they're just so wonderfully wonderful ;)

abby mumford said...

i love adverbs. too much. must stop.

Kristina L. Martin said...

I love me some Hemingway. And his disdain of the lowly adverb was in keeping with the rest of his writing style. Hell, perhaps "living" style. I say use 'em where they are the right tool. And then have a drink. ;)

Carol Kilgore said...

"When applied judiciously, they can even be quite helpful."

LOL!

Happy Weekend :)

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

That's so funny - just came from another adverb oriented post. I do not think they are as odious as they have been made out to be! Sometimes the right adverb is the perfect word! Eliminating adverbs really comes from the directive to make your verbs more active - but sometimes there just isn't an action verb that does the trick.

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

I think some people are pure genius with their use of adverbs and I like reading their stuff. Can't think of a good example right now, of course.

Diane Henders said...

I use adverbs wherever I please in the first draft. It helps me keep the writing flowing.

When the entire first draft is done, I fire up my search tool and look for "ly". I search the entire MS, and for each and every instance, I decide whether I can strengthen the verb or even say the whole thing differently. If there's no better alternative, the adverb stays, loud and proud. :-)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

If God didn't want us to use adverbs, He wouldn't have invented them. (Of course, I realize this is the same argument some potheads use about marijuana.) As for Hemingway, it's probably best if you don't hang out with him. It's frightening how little meat is left on his bones these days.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I see no reason to disparage any particular part of speech! That said, I bleed adverbs in my first draft. Later, I go back and weed out the unnecessary ones.

Monica B.W. said...

Love them too!
And I can't see why he hated them so much either. You just have to know how to treat them, and they'll become your friends.
Like, can you imagine saying this without the adv???? "I practically peed my pants when I was laughing." :P

Bess Weatherby said...

I'm simply thrilled to quickly seek the lovely blog that you carefully posted about the prickly subject of those arguably unneccessary but temptingly useful words that end in "ly."

I don't think all of those were adverbs, but that was fun to write.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

All things in moderation. :o)

Steph Schmidt said...

For the longest time I had no idea what an adverb is...mostly because I sort of read under my desk during the Daily Oral Language exercises that talked about predicates, nouns, articles etc. and yet still got decent marks. I have no regrets.

Julia Hones said...

When adverbs are used in the right places, they are very useful.