The Adverb shotgun

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SHEEMIEE

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2010
1,315
5,505
#1
this has to be one of my favourite stories, the simple brutality, the character build, and the shocking normality of the whole idea.

but what i find fascinating is the use of so many adverbs peppered throughout the pages. this, after SK taught me never to touch them with a lengthy stick.

Do you think he looks back with fondness of his masterpiece , or embarrassment ?

curious, because, as instructed, i leave them alone.

lovingly, sheemus P.

Stephen King on Writing, Fear, and the Atrocity of Adverbs – Brain Pickings
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
80,997
307,735
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#2
this has to be one of my favourite stories, the simple brutality, the character build, and the shocking normality of the whole idea.

but what i find fascinating is the use of so many adverbs peppered throughout the pages. this, after SK taught me never to touch them with a lengthy stick.

Do you think he looks back with fondness of his masterpiece , or embarrassment ?

curious, because, as instructed, i leave them alone.

lovingly, sheemus P.

Stephen King on Writing, Fear, and the Atrocity of Adverbs – Brain Pickings
...indupitably....
 

SHEEMIEE

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2010
1,315
5,505
#7
He was young, and young (or inexperienced) writers love them some adverbs and multiple adjectives :). Look at the difference between the original Gunslinger and the rewrite: many adverbs were lost in the fire.
yeh, that's the problem with advice, not being allowed to make the same mistake other have had to trudge through.

i writing a short story ATM, and trying to weed them out with substitute words, and boy it's tough.

he didn't suddenly enter the room - he has to crash through the door !!!

bah - writing tools!

why is my toolbox filed with only rusty spanners and broken hammers!
 
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,620
NJ
#9
I love The Long Walk. Even with its plethora of adverbs it's a spare and powerful story. Perhaps my favorite thing about it is that SK gives no concrete reason for the walk or why the world is the way it is at that point in time; he leaves it up to the reader to wonder about that. I think some of his later work suffers from way too much exposition.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,909
USA
#10
yeh, that's the problem with advice, not being allowed to make the same mistake other have had to trudge through.

i writing a short story ATM, and trying to weed them out with substitute words, and boy it's tough.

he didn't suddenly enter the room - he has to crash through the door !!!

bah - writing tools!

why is my toolbox filed with only rusty spanners and broken hammers!
LOL! Make all the mistakes you want the first go through. That's what first drafts are for. Just vomit up whatever is in your head onto the page. Best to get the story out before it gets stale. After that is when the real work happens :) I think it's not so much that adverbs/adjectives are bad, but that overuse is a lazy way to write. If you see an adverb, it nearly (there's one of the buggers!) always means that the writer is TELLING rather than SHOWING. Sometimes that's warranted. Most of the time, though, it's better to let the reader 'see' the action and decide for themselves in what manner the action is occurring.
 
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