SoCS — Déjà Vu All Over Again

When I saw that today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill said for us to “start your post with any adverb and just run with it.” I thought “been there, done that.”

Sure enough I dug into my archives and just over three months ago, Linda gave us this SoCS challenge: “start your post with any adverb that ends in ‘-ly.’”

So, being the lazy bastard that I am, I’m going to essentially repost (with a few minor edits) what I posted on February 9th. Here goes.


D565E643-654E-4772-8799-BCA48E331BC7First of all, let’s define the word adverb. “An adverb is a part of speech used to describe a verb, adjective, clause, or another adverb. It simply tells the readers how, where, when, or the degree at which something was done.”

Apparently, the biggest issue with adverbs is that people tend to overuse them. Some say that of all of the parts of speech, adverbs are the most likely to clutter your sentences pointlessly. Therefore, it is often suggested that writers should use adverbs sparingly.

(Hey wait. Aren’t “apparently,” pointlessly,” and “sparingly” adverbs? Oh crap. I just cluttered up my last paragraph by using three adverbs in just three sentences.)

I remember reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, where he goes on and on about how he feels about adverbs. I was surprised by his strong feelings. He admonishes writers to minimize, if not eliminate, their use of adverbs by suggesting that “adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind.”

King famously wrote:

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late.”

Personally, I think Stephen King overuses ellipses…as do I.

I have nothing against adverbs. I don’t use them often, but I do use them in my writing. And I don’t think of myself as a timid writer.

But I’m not a best-selling author, like Stephen King. In fact, I’m not an author at all. I’m not even sure I’d call myself a writer. I’m just a blogger who writes posts on my personal blog.

So, as the old song goes, it’s my blog and I’ll adverb if I want to, despite how Stephen King feels.


Apologies to Linda and to those of you who read my previous SoCS post about adverbs for recycling an old post, but it’s Saturday and I have things to do, people to see, and places to go. So deal with it.

20 thoughts on “SoCS — Déjà Vu All Over Again

  1. Sadje May 18, 2019 / 3:42 am

    Still interesting post, even if recycled.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Richmond Road May 18, 2019 / 4:42 am

    I find it amazing that Stephen King is put up on such a pedestal. I’m not denying that he has tremendous talent or that he is very successful. BUT … as a writer … I think that even he would recognise himself as a hack.

    He might have a point about adverbs, though. The first couple can provide a certain descriptive intensity. But after that they can become nauseating and smell of someone desperate to impress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 18, 2019 / 7:39 am

      Surprisingly, I agree with you about too many adverbs. Besides, I’ve been told that my writing can become nauseating and smell of desperation. And that was my wife who said that! 😱

      Like

  3. The Haunted Wordsmith May 18, 2019 / 5:10 am

    I think many writers use adverbs because there isn’t a handy, dandy reference book (but there should be). Kids learning how to write need adverbs, plain and simple. I read a book recently where the author wrote, “Alice said, loudly.” Um…saying something loudly would be yelling. Adverbs usually do nothing more than indicate weak verbs. We’ve all been there. As much as I respect King for his position in the writing world, I don’t think he would find a home in horror if he was 20 and starting out today. He was one of many who helped shape the horror market, but that doesn’t mean that his way of writing is best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 18, 2019 / 7:41 am

      Luckily for Stephen King, timing is everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Haunted Wordsmith May 18, 2019 / 7:46 am

        I think that is how most “industry leaders” got there…they made the industry lol

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene May 18, 2019 / 6:15 am

    “(Hey wait. Aren’t “apparently,” pointlessly,” and “sparingly” adverbs? Oh crap. I just cluttered up my last paragraph by using three adverbs in just three sentences.)” In that same paragraph, don’t forget “most” and “likely” but, who’s counting? I love adverbs when they flow naturally (hehe).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 18, 2019 / 7:44 am

      “… but, who’s counting?” Ha. Apparently I wasn’t! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maggie May 18, 2019 / 6:46 am

    We were on the same page today, and possibly we were on the ly adverb post as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 18, 2019 / 7:52 am

      I always think of King’s “warning” on the use of adverbs whenever anyone mentions adverbs, but I use them often, especially conjunctive adverbs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maggie May 18, 2019 / 8:06 am

        Yes, I use conjunctive adverb frequently as well.

        Like

  6. newepicauthor May 18, 2019 / 6:57 am

    Thanks for reminding me that we had done this before, but I think that we need to cut Linda some slack as she has two very popular writing challenges and it can’t be all that easy for her. Helen Vahdati gave me a Word document that contained all of the previous prompts that she used in the Song Lyric Sunday challenge and I try to keep that up to date, but it is several years long now and I am sure that there will be some repeats that get by me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. M. Oniker May 18, 2019 / 7:47 am

    King’s book is wonderful, but… yeah. Also in the block quote you’ll note there are several adverbs! moderation is great

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JT Twissel May 18, 2019 / 11:23 am

    There are no absolutes in writing. But if you rely on adverbs too much then you are telling your readers and not showing them. That’s probably the only rule I try to follow – show, don’t tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marilyn Armstrong May 18, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    Actually, adverbs have been eliminated by ALL sports announcers. For them, an adjective incorrectly placed is everything any announcer needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bill May 19, 2019 / 6:01 am

    Apparently, software has been hacked to remind me of my deficient grammar along with my atrocious spelling. I feel so insecure knowing that software is a better writer than I.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LindaGHill May 19, 2019 / 10:42 am

    Damn it! I found it the repeat. I listed it as “ends in -ly” so it didn’t show up in my search.
    Well, there’s one for the books. It’s the only repeated prompt since March 2014–when I think of it that way, I’m not doing too bad. 😛

    Sorry about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 19, 2019 / 12:21 pm

      No worries. It happens to all of us. And no, you’re not doing bad at all. In fact, probably many of the bloggers who participate in SoCS weren’t even around in 2014 or even a year or two ago, so you can probably recycle some of your older SoCS posts.

      Like

  12. leigha66 May 19, 2019 / 1:50 pm

    Good post, even if it is a repeat of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

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