Book reviews & writing tips from a wannabe YA writer
It seems like every writing how-to book I pick up says adverbs need to make like a tree and leave. (We’ll save lame metaphors for another day.)
I’ve been keeping an eye out for adverbs while I read, but I have a feeling that finding them is just the preheat part of the recipe for YA greatness.
It’s time to practice killing these puppies.
Let’s go back to the last book I didn’t finish, ghostgirl. The main character Charlotte is trying to sign up for cheerleader tryouts. Adverbs are in bold.
As she started writing the “C,” she was tapped harshly on the shoulder. Charlotte stopped writing and turned to see who was interrupting her first task of the day—no, of her new life—and then saw a line of girls who had been “camped out” all night waiting to sign up. The gathering resembled less of a tryout than a casting call.
The obnoxious candidate looked her over from head to toe, grabbed the pen, and simultaneously wrote her name in and Charlotte off. She then opened her hand and let the pen mercilessly drop the length of the string.
Charlotte watched the pen sway against the wall like a hanged man.
I don’t think these adverbs add much extra, but do you just get rid of them? Do you rewrite to make sure you don’t lose important meaning?
How would you rewrite this excerpt?