Overuse of adverbs (-ly words) is common among new and inexperienced writers. See the example below for ways to replace them with strong verbs. Using strong verbs instead of adverbs also assists in “showing” rather than “telling”.
“She’s definitely mine,” said Big Red aggressively.
“Admittedly, she had lunch with you in the same patch of orchard, but she recently told me it’s me she wants,” said Big Grey, raising his paws threateningly, lashing quickly at the larger kangaroo. “Can you pair find somewhere else to strongly contest the lovely lady elsewhere,” asked Little Red tiredly. “We’re trying to nap here. You pair going at it noisily is interfering with my sleep.”
“She’s belongs to me.” Big Red growled, planted his tail, and raised his paws. “Yes. You ate lunch in the same patch of orchard. But, she sleeps with me. She wants me.” Big Grey, thrusts with his claws, slashing the larger roo’s chest. “Come off it you two… find somewhere else to fight for the bitch,” Little Red yawned. “We’re trying to nap. Your brawling is interfering with my sleep.”
Life happens to all of us. For writers, all of it is grist for the mill: the good the bad and the downright ugly. Don’t you love Marian Keye’s attitude?
I have a beloved aunt who has one of the funniest people I know. I asked her about it once and she said that, for her, it’s a nervous reaction. I sometimes wish I and certain others would develop that reaction. It would be a lot more socially acceptable!
Sometimes the funny side of a situation takes a while for us to see, but writing about it helps. I think I’m going to try seeing the funny side a lot sooner.
The best advice. Writing your ‘dirty’ first draft is merely the first stage of getting a book out. It’s all about getting to know your story and what it’s all about.
Once the story is down on the page, it’s time to let it sit for a while, get some objectivity and distance before diving back in.
Then, and only then, is it time to ‘get it right’, make sure the story is all there, that there’s nothing missing, layering in anything missing, and editing out extraneous details and unnecessary words.
None of this can be done before you get the story out of your head and written.
My given name is Zoe, derived from the ancient Greek for life. As a girl, fascinated with words, I came across zoetic in an old dictionary. A rare or archaic word with the same derivation as my name, zoetic means living or vital. Also from the same derivation is zoetrope, the Victorian toy you see below.
Words on the page, of themselves, are little more than patterns of ink on paper and can be just as dry to read. Like a zoetrope, my aim as a writer and editor is to give life and vitality to black squiggles. Words ought to sparkle, shine, and move me to laughter or tears before I send them out into the world. There I want them to sing and dance in the mind and imagination of readers.
How could I call my business anything but Zoetic Words?
When I can’t understand something important, I search, I research and I write. I write and write everything I know, everything I feel until clarity comes. Sometimes I don’t completely understand until my story is told. Sometimes I don’t understand the details even then.
What is a draft if not telling yourself the story. Rewriting and editing are for clarifying it all first in the mind of the writer so that the reader may ask the right questions to find their own answers.