I had my blabbity blabs and what a friend of mine once called my "over-thinking everything" personality and now I want to get back to tips on cleaning up your manuscript.
I’ve spoken about dangling participles, tic words, body parts that move on their own, and similes.
Remember, only take in what makes sense to you so you aren't stymied in your progress.
I’m hoping to be “simplistic” in these posts, to help you on your way to recognizing things we all have done, or do.
When something clicks, it’s as if you opened a window and let in bright fresh light—it’s the AHA! moment of recognition. From there, it is up to you how you write your work. But I believe in knowing the rules so you can break them, or keep them, or both. There aren’t many rules I haven’t manipulated, although I do have my own personal pet peeves I am strict about. Find your voice, your style, your own way and fly fly fly. Soon, things will make sense and you won't even think twice about what you are crafting....yay!
Today I want to talk about LY words as they pertain to Adverbs. Now, because language and grammar and Rules are so fluid and strange and weird, not all Adverbs end in LY and not all LY words are adverbs. For example, lovely is an adjective, it describes something or someone, and is not an adverb (and we should watch our adjectives, but that’s another post for another day).
To keep things simple, and for my purposes today, I am speaking of LY Adverbs, because they are easy to recognize simply because of that LY. If you want to, you can place LY in the search box of your Word doc and click “find.” A lot of work? Maybe, but I think it’s worth it. Will we find every little thing in our manuscripts?—Helvetica no! But the more we know intuitively, instinctively, and naturally (*smiling*) the better, tighter, and fluid, our manuscripts will be.
What’s an Adverb? Well, it modifies other words (verbs, other adverbs, adjectives) but I won’t go into all that—as I always tell you, a good Google or Bing or whatever you use to a reputable grammar site will give you more information when you are ready to pursue grammar rules in greater detail. Heck, even I am confused at times and forget what's what in Grammar. But I know it when I see it . . . most of the time . . . haw!
Here is an example of a sentence with LY adverbs:
Kathryn slowly typed her sentence. How did Kat type? Slow(ly)
Barbara quickly ran down the hall. How did Barbara run? Quick(ly)
Carol’s chickens are really beautiful. How beautiful are Carol's chickens? Really
Travis is incredibly handsome. How handsome is Travis? Incredibly
Are those examples so bad? Well, no, except “really” is one of my mentioned tic words! And of course, what does “incredibly handsome” mean to that character/narrator? What if instead the narrator/character, through the writer, told us, or showed us, what made Travis “incredibly handsome” to her. But I digress . . . most digressinglylylyly. We don't want to flower up our work, but we also want to paint pictures so the reader sees what we want them to see in a Better Way that is crisp and tight.
If your manuscript is full of Adverbs, the writing can be stintingly stilted. There is a place for the Adverb, but when over-used, the writing becomes heavily burdened, choppily choppy, and even annoyingly annoying (teehee).
Is there a way to recast without your LY word and still have a beautiful sentence? Or a beautifully written sentence? *grin* Yes . . . there is. And sometimes it takes a little more work and a little more love and a little more paying attention, but it’s worth it, well worth it. Remember I told you people have said, "I had a hard time putting down your book." That means I did my job; I did something right to carry the reader forward. Maybe part of that is good old fashioned Grammar--few adverbs, few dangling participles, few or no body parts acting on their own, few tic words, cutting back on my similes I love so much - maybe?
There is more to our manuscripts than a good story and interesting characters, even if our readers do not recognize why our work is hard to put down or reads beautifullylylyly.
Again, Grammarmartariainians, I am being simplistic here, but if any Grammar Kings or Grammar Queens stop by, please leave suggestions, or links, or ideas as to where readers can go to learn more; we’d be most appreciatingly appreciative…. wouldn't we, everyone?
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