The Adverb Strikes Back

Nicholas C. Rossis

Editing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

We all know how adverbs are supposedly an author’s archnemesis. They are to be avoided like, well, passive voice. We’re to go through our manuscripts, find each and every one of them, and kill them while crying out, “die, rebel scum!”

Hemingway has a lot to do with this, but so does Stephen King, with his famous quote: “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Or, as the full quote goes:

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique.

If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions.

By then you…

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