How an Adverb Makes or Breaks Your Story

I decided to make today a #writingtip day!

And I also decided to examine the subject of adverbs.

Hmm, don’t we all love adverbs? The sense of urgency and intimacy they give our words and phrases?

But the thing is, just as adverbs add more fIourish to a piece of writing so also can they break it.

I’ll tell you how.

Adverbs modify a verb. It is a lesson we all learn early on during our first days of school. They are an important component of our language because they provide accuracy to how we describe events.

The only problem with adverbs is that most of them are not needed.

Let us use the sentence below as an example.

John walked rapidly toward the beach.

If we remove “rapidly” from the sentence, then the meaning of the sentence changes. We don’t want that.

At the same time, however, we could find numerous verbs that would express the same message to the reader without the need for the adverb.

Here are some of our available options: hurried, ran, sprinted, or hustled.

John hurried toward the beach.

Precision composition reduces adverb use. For readers, the narrative then activates in their mind with a picture closer to the one you created for yourself as the writer.

When Should Adverbs Be Used?

Adverbs are a good option for writers when they can add stress and strength to a sentence.

Adverbs will make you an exceptionally strong writer.

They should be added if depth can be given to the sentence as well.

John is deeply disturbed when he is told to go home from the beach.

It can be used for rhythm within a sentence to entice readers to keep transitioning to new paragraphs.

Reaching a high-income tax bracket is highly rewarding.

When adverbs are purposeful, they become useful additions to a sentence. If they are careless, then it lessens the importance of the sentence.

That’s how an adverb is able to make… or break your story.

Till my next tip,

Stay blessed!