Posts Tagged ‘adverbs’

I launched an inquisition earlier this year.

I’ve been on a bit of a witchhunt to suss out and destroy those insidious adverbs that have plagued my stories for many years.  I have not been able to stamp them all out, but I’ve plunged a stake through many of their wicked little hearts.  This seems to have improved the quality of my fiction; certainly it has challenged me to select stronger verbs, to choose words that are more compelling and deliver greater descriptive impact.  It forces me to write with greater intensity and precision.  It also helped me clean up my dialogue and reduce expository clutter.  My zombies will never again move quickly toward anyone; they will lurch, lunge, or stagger.  No longer will my characters do anything suspiciously, they will lurk or skulk. 

So long, suddenly, really, immediately.  Farewell, nearly, literally, eagerly, carefully.  Scram, defiantly, cleverly, awkwardly.  Be gone, hastily, violently, viciously, and utterly.

This is not to suggest that I have an all-or-nothing perspective on adverbs; I am still learning the craft of writing, and I am certain that a few will continue to sneak into my writing.  In other instances, they may have a very appropriate place.  For now, however, I choose to pound on mine as if I were trying to win the biggest prize on a Whack-A-Mole game.  Or perhaps I am just sublimating some sort of twisted, deep-seated aggression on them unconsciously.

Here’s the thing.  This morning, I read an intriguing post on a Reddit zombie lit discussion thread, exploring the possibility that fast zombies work most effectively cinematically, while slow zombies are better suited for writing.  I had never considered this before, and it sparked my interest.  All considerations of rigor mortis, decay, and basic physiology aside (which tends to render the concept of fast zombies a little more far-fetched for me), the question remains:

Is it more difficult to write about fast zombies?

All of my tales of the reanimated dead with a lust for human flesh have involved slow zombies.  While not a conscious decision, that struck me, especially given the capacity of fast zombies to enable jump scares and terrifying, breakneck sequences that leave viewers and readers gasping for air.  Why haven’t I written about fast zombies?

I’ve commited to giving a fast zombie fiction piece a try in the coming week.  As I jotted some ideas down throughout the day, I noticed an inclination on my part to want to default to phrases such as “immediately, quickly, viciously, rapidly, and ferociously.”  I’m not sure why the adverbs are wanting to crop up again, but I’m going to put every one I find down with a clean headshot.