Jacqui Murray has posted several writer’s tips on her blog which I am using as a sort of check-list for my rewriting/editing process. Tip #2 Ban Weak Adverbs, reminded us to use them sparingly. She recommended using the find feature on your word programme to seek out -ly words. Then reconstruct the sentence or use a stronger verb to get rid of those weak adverbs.
Yesterday, I followed her tip and spent about an hour looking through my entire manuscript. I did not have that many weak adverbs left after my first editing sweeps, just a few sprinkled here or there, except for in one chapter. That chapter also is the longest chapter in my novel. I found it riddled with the word “really” and I am not quite sure why but I guess it was a case of once I used the first one, they decided to somehow multiply. Honestly, there were over thirty of them. I think I have now managed to pluck all but one from the entire manuscript. I will be more conscious of this in the future.
Is there an adverb or other type of word you find yourself using to excess in your writing that “really” is not needed there?