words with ly, ing and adverbs - Page 2

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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletM.Sinclaire
    words with ly, ing and adverbs
    I'm going to be contrary here and say: readers generally don't care about this kind of stuff.

    This is just one of those technical points that us writers tend to gabber over.

    Sure, if you're employing these to such a degree that it becomes distracting to the reader, then yes, consider trimming things down. Otherwise, it's really not that big of an issue.

    You know what's worse than using adverbs or words that end with ly or ing? Making your writing sound stilted, awkward, or forced in an attempt to avoid it.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MzSnowleopard View Post
    ... every instructor I've had in creative writing has blasted me for using gerunds- adverbs ending in LY and ING.
    This is weird. A gerund is a word that derives from a verb but functions as a noun... like "running" in "I love running". They do generally (always?) end in "ing", but they aren't adverbs, and they aren't really a problem, and there are other words that end in "ing" that aren't gerunds and also aren't problems...

    Overuse of -ing words can be a problem, just as overuse of anything can be a problem, but I certainly don't think it makes sense to have an outright ban on them outside dialogue.

    Similarly, I don't think there's anything wrong with the -ly ending, except that it tends to indicate an adverb and adverbs tend to be overused by newer writers. Again, though... overuse is the problem, not any​ use.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletM.Sinclaire View Post
    I'm honestly trying to not use them at all. Or at least not use them frequently.
    Evidently it's not that easy. There's nothing special about "literature" when it comes to the written word. One uses whatever is necessary to convey the right meanings and impressions and prompt the right thoughts. If you believe that avoiding adverbs will improve your writing then try to avoid them in all your writing, not just what you think of as your literature, and maybe you'll come to understand where they are appropriate and where they are just unnecessary padding.

    Is it a silly rule then? Maybe only because "silly" isn't an adverb.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  4. #14
    Member MzSnowleopard's Avatar
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    Bayview, the problem is personal opinion vs. industry standards.

    There are some publishers and agents who will look past a script that is littered with LY and ING but in general, they are an exception.
    "Sometimes I wish I could stay asleep, not because my life is that dull and boring but because my dreams are just that good." - Mindy Dyksterhouse (MzSnowleopard)
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MzSnowleopard View Post
    There are some publishers and agents who will look past a script that is littered with LY and ING but in general, they are an exception.
    The advice to avoid ing words is really just another way of promoting the simple past tense instead of the progressive past tense.

    (He threw the ball generally reads stronger than He was throwing the ball.)

    But like everything, there are always exceptions. Sometimes the past progressive is simply the better choice.

    Plus, most of these "rules" no longer apply when the narration is written in the character's voice (such as Deep Third, or first person). In those cases, there's only one rule to consider—and, IMO, all other rules can safely be ignored: would the character think or speak in this way?

    If your character is the type to use a lot of adverbs or ing words in their speech and/or thoughts, then it'd actually be poor form not to use them.
    Last edited by Kyle R; September 16th, 2018 at 06:35 PM.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by MzSnowleopard View Post
    Bayview, the problem is personal opinion vs. industry standards.

    There are some publishers and agents who will look past a script that is littered with LY and ING but in general, they are an exception.
    The key word there is "littered". I don't think agents, editors, OR readers want books that are littered with any damn thing. But judicious, effective use? Take a look at published works. You'll find plenty of words ending in -ly and -ing.

  7. #17
    Member MzSnowleopard's Avatar
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    Yes, I have taken a look at published works that, quite frankly, over use the LY and ING words. For as much as I've been berated to not use them, I often find myself asking "how did this book get published?"

    Since I don't have a paid membership, I can't share links in the open forum. I have one on an article over at Writer's Digest titled Subverting Adverbs and Clichés.
    If anyone is interested in this article, I'm willing to share it via PM.

    Its well written and explains the issue clearly. It gives a balance between both sides of the issue- to use or not to use. I should say 'issues' since it also covers cliches.
    "Sometimes I wish I could stay asleep, not because my life is that dull and boring but because my dreams are just that good." - Mindy Dyksterhouse (MzSnowleopard)
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