Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG: The Most Hated Writing Rule

It's the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of 2017. Thanks to Alex and his co-hosts for putting this event together every month. 

This month's question is: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

Per the great Stephen King, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." In other words, don't use adverbs. 

I happen to love adverbs. I think they're lovely. I like how they sound and how they slip delightfully from the tongue. They display beautifully on the page and contribute meaningfully to the story being told.  

I hate cutting them from my writing, but upon editing, I troll through the pages and spitefully kill the little darlings. (kill your darlings is from Stephen King's On Writing, which I highly recommend). 

And that is the writing rule I wish I'd never heard of. 

What's the writing rule you hate the most? Why?


  1. Happy New Year, Gwen! Fun that you admit to liking adverbs. Sorry you have to cut them out when you edit. Hope you have a fantastic year1

  2. I bet your poor little adverbs wish you'd never heard of it.
    Happy 2017!

  3. People always say to cut out adverbs and adjectives, but I love them, too. I rebel on that one. ;)

  4. Aw, poor little adverbs! Thanks for sharing this.

    Anne from

  5. I've heard that one a lot too and often end up having to go through and kill them as well.

  6. I like adverbs and adjectives too and have to watch it. Hope you had a great holiday.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  7. I love Stephen King and can't help but chuckle when I notice adverbs in his books. I feel like he uses them a lot! LOL I'm with you though, I like them and don't see why they are so hated.

  8. I love adverbs too. Used them a lot in my fan fiction and no one complained. But the writing world can be a treacherous place for those darling manuscripts. Happy New Year Gwen.

    2017 IWSG January Co-Host

  9. I agree with you, and it's the first thing I thought of when I saw the question this month, though I decided not to blog about it. Glad you did though :-) Happy New Year!

  10. I used to like adverbs, until I weighed them against prose where they didn't exist. The difference was striking--in a good way. Haven't gone back...but they do sneak in every now and again.

  11. I love adverbs, too. The hate many people show towards them is too intense, IMO!

  12. Those lovely adverbs, the darlings that seductively make writers feel poetic. It is hard to kill them all but I do try to cut the little beasties out.

  13. I kill those adverbs too. And all the time I use "just" in my manuscript.

  14. I hate killing my adverbs, so I feel your pain.

  15. Hmm. I hear you. I think I'd go back and unhear most rules and learn to write using some of the books I most recently read, which were more about constructing a better story. I think those are what we need to concentrate on. So, I felt for me. :)

  16. I think you have mastered sprinkling them in most tastefully!

    On Writing is amazing.

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