Monday, 15 July 2013
We could think about emotional words instead. Adverbs come in for a lot of stick these days. They are the words that often modify the action a verb takes. They describe a character's feelings, or how a dialogue tag is delivered, and my critique partners put a red line through them almost every time I use one. 'You don't mean that,' he said sarcastically.
I have a certain fondness for adverbs and often confuse them with adjectives. Adverbs are quick and easy and, well used, can add to a piece of writing. Used lazily, no one likes them. Too many of them, like the passive voice, keep readers on the surface of your story. Use the correct verb, keep the dialogue strong and forget the authorial summing-ups like happily, sad, sarcastically. Unless, of course, you are writing your story via
a narrator who happily sums up what is happening after every scene.
Words like beautiful, delicious are meaningless because they are so subjective. My beautiful is hardly likely to match your beautiful. Pick the right word, the exact word, every time.
For my interest rather than yours, I checked on the definition of an adjective and here's what the dictionary says: "a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it." No wonder I misremember the two words - one works with verbs and the other with nouns. Simple - when you know! Perhaps now I have this to refer to, I shall never worry again.