Prefer verbs to adverbs

2020-05-21 1 min read

    Years ago I read a book that I unfortunately can’t recall that had a very insightful bit of writing advice - prefer verbs to adverbs. The premise was that many of us will spice up our writing by using adverbs to decorate our verbs but instead we should use strong and unique verbs. Your writing gains pithiness and leads to a more memorable message.

    As an example, rather than prepending “said” with yet another adverb instead think of verbs that get your point across better - maybe it’s shouted, or exclaimed, or charged, or yelled, or accused, or hundreds others. Each of them carry more weight than just decorating said. Not to mention this is a great way to expand your vocabulary!

    I’m not sure why this thought popped into my mind but it resonated and something I’ll endeavour to prioritize in my writing. I value expressiveness and love cutting cruft - this is a simple way to do it.