Writing Tip for Teens: adverbs

In my last post I wrote about the need to show a character’s actions through a precise choice of words. Often, new writers use an adverb to do so:


Jenna spoke softly.

S/he walked angrily up the stairs.

However, by changing those verb +adverb combinations with one word we often say what we mean better.


Jenna whispered.

S/he stomped up the stairs.

Of course not all adverbs need to be eliminated from our stories, but by using the ‘Find’ option in Word you could check if you’ve written too many words ending in –ly.

Then decide if the verb+adverb can be changed with one word that describes the action better.


I’d love to hear of some words you’ve used instead of a verb+adverb.

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