January 5th, 2006

ichigo calendar

But you're pretty when you're mine

Before anyone gets in a tizzy, none of the below is inspired by any actual fic that I've read recently. I was doing research and stumbled across some arrogant but ill-informed opinions; that's all.

I love it when people who would have JKR drawn and quartered for "adverb abuse" display a spectacular lack of knowledge of English whilst going off on rants about said adverb abuse.

Newsflash. Adverbs are a part of the English language; an indispensible part of said language, imagine that. Adverb abuse is only abuse when you use adverbs to weaken otherwise strong vebs or when you overuse adverbs so that your piece is pretending to be descriptive and lyrical, but really it's a lukewarm puddle of cat sick. "Ranted" is better than "spoke angrily" -- because it's cleaner and carries a sentence forward more quickly; the adverb phrase is weak and detrimental to pacing. "Ranted angrily", OTOH, is simply redundant -- because anger is implied in the verb, you don't need anything to reinforce that with anything else. Unless you're writing for an audience who won't understand the verb 'ranted' (in which case you would use 'spoke angrily', anyway).

I love it how some will avoid using adverbs and use adjective phrases instead -- THAT IS NOT THE POINT. "Hello," said Harry quickly. and "Hello," said Harry in a quick manner. BOTH SUCK. If you're needing to describe every line of your dialogue, then your dialogue OR your setting OR your build-up hasn't been thought through. If there's no anger in the words your character is speaking, tacking on an "angrily" to the end of "he said" doesn't improve your dialogue. This is a definite problem in the Harry Potter books as written by JK Rowling, absolutely.

Not all adverbs are bad, though. The 'ly' adverbs formed from adjectives are very often unnecessary, especially while writing dialogue (and in this department, JKR sucks giant donkey balls, as per). But. Um... "soon" is an adverb. So's "there". Adverbs are not just 'those words ending in -ly', mkay. It is NOT a crime to describe the manner in which a character is speaking. It's NOT a crime to describe the manner in which he or she is moving, either. It's not even a crime to use adverbs to do so, but it pays to be aware that fewer adverbs make for cleaner writing -- guess what? Fewer adjectives do, too. If you're going to complain about adverb abuse? At least have a clue what you're complaining about. Which brings me to another tiny writing-related peeve.

What is it with phrases like "nodded his head" and "shrugged her shoulders"? Shrugged your head lately? Perhaps you've somehow managed to nod your left bicep? Can you nod something other than your head? Can you shrug something other than your shoulders? ffs, no! Plz to be stopping with the nodding heads and shrugging shoulders. It's like wet water, only worse. >:0!!1 I also love it when someone "smiles a smile". What else can you smile? A pink flamingo? Ag!


I'll be over there, scrutinising my fic for some new stuff to mock.
  • mood: apathetic apathetic
  • now playing: Vast -- Pretty When You Cry
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