Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Writing Wednesday - The Decidedly, Absolutely, Completely Un-Needed 'LY'
That depends on who you ask. I've read articles that call the use of 'ly' adverbs everything from telling writing to down right lazy writing. I've also read articles that insist 'ly' adverbs play an important role in writing. Which do I believe? Well . . . both.
Early in my writing, I peppered my manuscript with adverbs like a crazed chef turned loose in Spices-R-Us. Then I learned that if I used them sparingly my writing was stronger. I was forced to find more descriptive verbs; I was forced to show instead of tell.
Let's look at an example:
"I'm sure we're all sorry for your loss," she said snidely.
"I'm sure we're all sorry for your loss." Her brittle voice held as much sincerity as a used car salesman's.
Does it take more work to leave out the 'ly'? Positively.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Hope this helps in your writing!