Purple Prose + writerly books

On My Writerly Bookshelf: Adverbs & Clichés

In an attempt to bring life to their writing, many new writers fall in love with adverbs and clichés. In truth, adverb and cliché abuse has the opposite effect to what they intended. It leads to flat writing.

Jessica Bell’s newest book, Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell, is what your prose really needs. She explains why you want to avoid them, and proves a multitude of examples to show how much better your writing will be when you use, instead, alternative methods to bring your writing to life.

For each example, she lists a bunch of adverbs and clichés. Next, she has two similar paragraphs demonstrating the use of these words. One is written with the adverbs from the list, the other with the clichés. And finally, she presents a paragraph rich with imagery that is far superior to the previous two. You learn by example.

I recommend Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell to everyone who struggles with them. And I especially recommend it to EVERYONE in broadcasting. Apparently someone told them that clichés are a good thing, and the more you abuse the better. They always look proud when they do it. Too bad they can’t hear me groan.

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On My Writerly Bookshelf: Adverbs & Clichés + writerly books