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CC’s two cents on Adverbs


Let me tell you a story of last time I submitted a few chapters of my novel to my workshop group. Group members could print it out for margin notes if they wanted to, which is nice because it’s a great way to point out specific words or sentences that tripped up your reader. When one of my group members handed back my printed out draft, every adverb was crossed out. Every single one. She wanted me to scrap every single adverb ending in –ly.

And she’s not the first writer to have this viewpoint. I’ve heard it said that you can sometimes—sometimes—get away with adverb usage when you use it sparingly. Like once every 1,000 words, I think they said. Even then you’re on thin ice. Adverbs are just plain lazy writing, they said.

For those of you who don’t keep track of all those silly grammar terms, adverbs are modifiers for your verbs, usually ending in –ly. (loudly, roughly, angrily, suddenly, really)

So, is it true? Are adverbs the devil? Certainly not. In fact, some adverbs are really nice. I don’t think there should be an ultimatums in writing (all adverbs are evil!), because a lot of that chalks down to writing style and voice. Adverbs can be good in moderation.

Why people hate on –ly words:

They can be lazy writing. Some writers rely on adverbs rather than look for a better-fitting word, which makes them a favorite for lazy writers. Second, when it comes to show don’t tell, adverbs tend towards the tell side. And third, adverbs can clog up your writing with wordiness.

“Why do you have to be so mean?” he asked quietly.

“We don’t have time to talk about this,” I snapped back angrily.

He sadly hung his head. “We never have time to talk about this.”

Please tell me that made you cringe. It’s wordy, it’s repetitive, and it’s telling everything. This is, quite obviously, a good show of bad adverb usage.

  • Wordy: Here’s a writing pro-tip: the fewer words you have, the more weight your remaining words hold. If you can cut word(s) and have the sentence keep the same meaning, do it.
  • Repetitive: Hand in hand with wordiness, you don’t want to repeat yourself. Your readers are smart. They can figure things out. If someone’s yelling, we know they’re angry. You don’t need to say “she yelled angrily.” You don’t need to say “he cried sadly.”
  • Telling: It says right there in the dialogue tags that she’s angry and he’s sad. We have been told their emotions, rather than seeing it in their actions. Instead of “he said angrily,” try for “he snapped” or “he yelled.”

“Why do you have to be so mean?” he asked.

“We don’t have time to talk about this,” I snapped back.

He hung his head. “We never have time to talk about this.”

All I did was remove the –ly words. And look! It’s a thousand times better. This is why people hate on adverbs. Most of the time, they’re unnecessary and should be cut, simple as that. But I think it’s equally lazy to condemn all adverbs as worthless without giving the poor guys a chance. So when you’re looking through your document’s adverbs, ask yourself at each one: “Is this necessary?” Try cutting out the adverb. Read the sentence. Does the meaning change in a bad way, good way, or not at all?

Why you shouldn’t hate on –ly words:

We use modifiers all the time in everyday conversation, so why can’t your character? As long as you don’t go overboard, adverbs can make your characters sound like people, while absolutely no adverbs might make them sound like robots. It’s just part of a realistic dialogue. Of course, not every line of dialogue should have one. But try speaking it out loud and see if it feels natural in your mouth.

One little adverb can lean your character’s tone in a certain direction.

  • “It’s definitely more fun at night.” (adverb adds excitement)
  • “Trust me, they’re probably ideas I already have.” (adverb makes it more teasingly flirtatious than seriously flirtatious/creepy)
  • “Ghosts always have been real, along with a whole manner of creatures this so called ‘modern’ world has apparently forgotten. Standards have gone down, haven’t they?” (adverb highlights the speaker’s arrogance and dismissiveness towards others who don’t know as much as him)

Adverbs can be part of your character’s voice. On top of adding that human quality, they can be like little flavoring words to bring out your character’s feelings towards certain things. They’re also good for an ironic voice, I’ve realized.

  • Damn. I exhaled heavily. My fault? Really?
  • He’d already demonstrated his knack for things questionably legal.
  • He seemed perfectly at ease in a place full of dead people.
  • I’d have to weigh it against sitting in a room with enough lawyers to fix a light bulb and two embarrassingly overdramatic parents yelling over my head.
  • If he was, in fact, the strongest, because I couldn’t exactly cross-reference his information.

Of course, all of these examples would be better in context, but I don’t want to paste huge paragraphs of text into this. Basically, these were all adverbs that girl from my writing group told me to cut. Some of her suggestions I agreed with, so I did cut down on my adverb count. But all of the above examples she saw as unnecessary, while I disagree—I see them as part of my characters’ voices. They add to the story, the character, the tone.

So read through the examples—out loud, if you want. Read with the adverb, and then without. Listen for the change in tone and meaning. Then do a ctrl-f in your story doc for “-ly” and do the same thing. You will find adverbs that are unnecessary, but some of them you’ll find you need to keep! And that’s fine. Keep them.


Reblogged from legit-writing-tips  46 notes

Legit Tip #119


I see a lot of posts going around that offer a thousand and one different alternatives to commonly used words. The worst offenders are the posts that talk about the numerous different ways to use the word “said”. 

I think a lot of this stems from us being told in high school not to repeat words in our papers and essays. Unfortunately, what’s decent advice for writing essays is kind of crappy advice for writing fiction. 

While its great to have a big vocabulary and to use alternative versions of words where they fit, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by pulling out a thesaurus every time you want to beef up your writing. 

Big, pretty words won’t do anything to make your story better, or to make you a better writer. While they can work well to build an atmosphere or to create ambience, they should be regarded as accessories. Too much accessorizing with pretty words will leave your writing looking pretentious and flashy. 

Of course, this is by no means universal as far as rules go. But if you find yourself heading to charts or pulling up the thesaurus routinely, you probably should stop and think about what you’re trying to accomplish by doing so. 

Reblogged from danaterrace  110 notes
When drawing stuff for Gravity Falls,is it easy to switch back to your regular style? Can drawing a different style affect the way you draw?


I draw the GF crew 8/9 hours a day 5, days a week  (sometimes 6-7 days depending on how behind I am on work hehe). Of COURSE drawing something that much is going to effect your personal work, but luckily you get to decide what you get affected by! Just because I draw Dipper and Mabel all day doesn’t mean that I’ve developed the tendency to give everything big cartoony bug eyes or tube arms (not that there’s anything wrong with that! I love their designs!). But from working here I’ve learned how to economize my line mileage, push my otherwise stiff posing (something I’ve always had trouble with and probably always will), and explore unique dialogue acting. I’ve always prided myself on being versatile, which is probably why I have trouble staying constant to one style. But I usually find no problem switching back and forth between drawing for GF and going home and studying artists like Katsuhiro Otomo or Naoki Urasawa. 

Reblogged from maxkirin  161 notes
hey! so i've been outlining my book and one of my characters, who has had to provide for her sister and herself her entire life, is supposed to be kinda rude and mean. but she's not really acting that way toward another character, and i feel like she should be. she's only known the other character for maybe two weeks, and I'm worried that she's going against her personality for no real reason. thank you so much!!


Hello there, writerly friend~ ✿

I have touched on this subject in the past, but allow me to elaborate! You see, the funny thing about characters is that… well, just like you never know a person until you meet them, you never know a character until you write them.

I mean it.

Have you considered that maybe — just maybe — this character doesn’t want to be rude to this person that she just met? I know that some writers may read that and call it heresy, but really consider the question.

Do you think you know more about your characters than they do?

You see, I have written so many books by now— and I can tell you with certainty that during the revision process I spend 80% of my time fixing the first third of the book. Why? Because every time (and I do mean every time) I find that the character I wrote in the beginning is not like the person I wrote in the end. The same character in the early chapters seemed like a simplification: a summary of a person. This was because during those early pages I would spend a long time battling between my expectations of the character— and who they really were. And my job during the revision process is to go back and make sure this character is who they are supposed to be from the beginning.

One of these days I will post the original character sheets for Anabel and Justine (From Justine’s Blood). I swear they are not even the same people— and that’s good, because whoever I thought they were supposed to be is nothing compared to who they really were.

I know that we are told to ‘come up’ with stories, but I don’t think that is what actually happens. We don’t ‘come up’ with them— we find them. We stumble upon characters too. I know this may not be what you expected to hear, but this is what I really feel.

If you are afraid that this character is not who you thought they were, then good. Keep writing. If they surprised you, they will surprise the reader.

If you are afraid that now your outline is ruined, then no problem. Keep writing. Just follow this character and see where they go. Life is not scripted, so welcome the unknown and see where it takes you.

As a final note, I will leave you with my favorite piece of character advice:

If you wish your characters to behave like real people, and be as complex as real people, then you must treat them like real people.

I hope this helps! If you, or any other writerly friend has any more questions, feel free to send them my way! (◕‿◕✿)

Reblogged from art-reference  99 notes


I present to you DawnBringer’s 16 color palette for pixel art.  A masterfully crafted palette and guide created by pixel joint’s DB and open for public use.

I’ve thought about this palette for a long time, since I saw it posted some time ago, though I’ve never been so bold to do anything with it.  Limited palettes are something that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around.

For any budding pixel artist (or regular artist as these theories are also applicable to more traditional art styles), I suggest researching deeply into using limited colors.  It can mean the difference between a clean, sleak, awesome looking sprite and a muddy mess (as demonstrated in this article).

Reblogged from theartofkenyadanino  22 notes


I’ve recently created an instagram because a friend of mine informed that some kiddos are posting my work and unsourcing it. Look, im not pointing fingers, but come on guys. Source an artist’s work if you want to use it in other places ok? It’s not that hard.

Also, I have copyrights to my styles and many of my characters that fall under it. I’d hate to be that person who empties a wallet. I’m not that kind of person but if push comes to shove I will do what i must.

Thank you for reading dears :)

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SERIOUSLY THOUGH, thank you to everyone who is following me!! ^^ I am honored that you thought me worthy of taking up a space on your dash.

follower count not found 


SERIOUSLY THOUGH, thank you to everyone who is following me!! ^^ I am honored that you thought me worthy of taking up a space on your dash.