Stephen King once said, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs."
I don't know if I'd go that far, but I agree that they're overrated.
An adverb is a word that modifies [or describes] an adjective, a verb. . .really any part of speech except for a noun. They're everywhere.
Most words that end in -ly are adverbs. You might be thinking, I like the word curly. Is that an adverb? No-- it's an adjective that ends in -ly. So how do you tell the difference between an adverb and an adjective?
An adjective describes what something is like, what it looks like, or how it behaves. [It was ugly; it was wiggly; it was fast.]
Adverbs, on the other hand, explain how "something" something is.
Seems like a good thing, right? So, why do adverbs irk so many writers?
Let's try an exercise:
Which sounds better?
Her hair was very long. His face was really handsome. They were truly in love.
Her hair flowed down her back. His face transfixed her. They were in love.
The first set, right? Kidding.
The second set is superior, and it's easy to see why.
Removing adverbs whenever possible forces us to replace them with more creative parts of speech or turns of phrase.
Try this: Take one sentence you've written today that contains at least one adverb. Omit the adverb, and replace it with something more FUN.