Friday, June 8, 2007


A Essay on Writing
by Greg Gunther, IWW Administrator

The other day, I was listening to my wife read a Harry Potter book to my granddaughter, and noticed Ms. Rowling's use of adverbs with action words, such as, "...he said, threateningly." The book seemed to be peppered with a variety of similar examples.

That got me to wondering. I've always heard that adverbs were bad news, but on the other hand, Wikipedia reports that Ms. Rowling has sold 397,000,000 Harry Potter books in a ten-year period.

Something's wrong here. Who should set the standard, anyway, the grammarians or writers who sell incredible numbers of books?

Elmore Leonard says
, "Never use an adverb to modify the word 'said.'"

The Internet Writing Workshop's Writing Discussion list's general consensus was that writing with strong verbs and nouns is better than using adverbs, but a great story counts for more than great language.

Also, "Nobody knows nothin'" when it comes to predicting blockbusters, either with books or movies, so just keep writing and hoping.

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