Adverb and Alliteration Adversities


DOWN WITH ADVERBS! AVOID ALLITERATION ALWAYS! Aww… ‘always’ as an arduous atrocity. Absolutely awful.

Is anybody else sick of hearing this? It seems like every book I read on writing well, editing well, and living well talks about how adverbs and alliteration are the devil. How they suck the flow and rhythm of the writing down in to the depths. How they’re the tools of amateurs and how truly great writers never use them, except in the most dire of circumstances.

Well, you know what? I happen to LIKE adverbs! And alliteration! All right?

Of course, there should be some discretion in using them. One should probably not absolutely consent to finally use as many adverbs in their stunningly fluent and amazingly complicated prose.

As for alliteration… A little alliteration always assuages an angry alligator.

Okay, probably not. I just made that up. But seriously, sometimes writing needs a little bit more embellishment. I agree that writers need to be creative and driving in their dialogue and exposition, but can we not have such a vendetta against two perfectly (see what I did there?) acceptable parts of speech and language?

Rant over. I will return you to my normally (see, see?) scheduled posts.

Happy writing!


“Overuse at best is needless clutter; at worst, it creates the impression that the characters are overacting, emoting like silent film stars. Still, an adverb can be exactly what a sentence needs. They can add important intonation to dialogue, or subtly convey information.”
― Howard Mittelmark


9 thoughts on “Adverb and Alliteration Adversities

  1. As always, adverbs and alliteration are amazing! No, seriously, I heartily agree with you. Don’t listen to the books. The only rule is “there are no rules” or “break all the rules” or “down with rules” or something like that. 🙂

  2. My sentiments, exactly.

    I think it may be sour grapes with many of those curmudgeonly critics, who probably couldn’t string together an appropriate alliteration to save their lives.

    But that’s okay. I’m here to take up the slack.

  3. Reblogged this on Christine Plouvier, Novelist and commented:
    In support of Inkcouragement’s request, here’s a passage I enjoyed writing: In return, he fed her taste for tales of times past with anecdotes of ancestral adventures that, while arguably apocryphal, nevertheless enticed her into joining him on jaunts that were admittedly fact-finding forays in name only. Of the many medieval churches and castles, Celtic high crosses, prehistoric passage tombs and battlefields to be found within the watershed of the River Boyne, not one escaped his dragnet – but while their travels also brought them to within eyeshot of Drogheda, not once did Dillon suggest visiting his wife’s grave. (Irish Firebrands, Chapter 11)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s