Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Common Problems (Part 29 of 50)

Avoid amateur words such as quickly and hurriedly. Don't use such words unless speed is important.

* His eyes adjusted quickly to the murky light.

* Elmer made a quick survey of the narrow room. (Same principle: If he surveys a room, unless there is reason for haste, wouldn't he do it slowly and methodically? Isn't that the idea of surveying?)

* She shuddered and hurriedly smiled an apology.

I can usually omit speed words from my writing 
unless I want to emphasize haste.


  1. We can also choose an action verb in place of an adverb/verb combination. "His eyes darted around the room;" "she zipped onto the highway." I LOVE finding clearer ways to say something.

  2. I just read the "common problems" entries. What a gold mine! I will be using these points as I work on my book. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
    If I'm catching the point of your advice, the best way to write is to be clear, concise and avoid fillers -- rather like organic food. I hope my writing comes across this way.


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