When we first began listening to Night Vale, we were
outsiders looking into this strange town. We didn’t know how the dynamics of
the town worked. We were interlopers entering this strange town with no
knowledge of what to expect. And this is precisely why Alice Isn’t Dead is so
strange to us now. We have gotten so used to the weirdness of Night Vale and
understanding the random strange events that occur on a daily basis that having
a ‘normal’ protagonist in Alice Isn’t Dead is so foreign to us. The tables have
turned; we are now the citizens of Night Vale wondering why this truck driver
is so scared about this strangeness that could almost be normal for us.
Why is it that people always say to get rid of adverbs? Every time I write a sentence with one now I get paranoid that it's suddenly 'bad writing' and spend way too long trying to work out another grammatically correct sentence without an adverb...
Stephen King, in his book “On Writing” writes: “The road to hell is paved by adverbs.” Which is why this is a good question, as adverbs come up a lot when describing “bad writing”. It kind of makes you wonder why they exist if they are so terrible to use. If adverbs are overused or used incorrectly, they can weaken your prose, but to say every use of an adverb is a “writer’s sin” is a bit of an oversimplification. Adverbs should be used with caution but never avoided altogether.
Since the definition for an adverb is: A verb that modifies another verb or adjective…the easiest way to catch an adverb in your own work would be to ask yourself, “Does this modify a verb or adjective?” If the answer is yes, then you have an adverb, and you may need to identify a few things to see if it can stick around and earn it’s keep on your work. As an extra tip, if you are still having trouble identifying adverbs paste your work into www.hemingwayapp.com. All adverbs will show up in light blue. This site also has a few other handy tools for identifying other “bad writing” issues.
An adverb should be removed if it commits one of these three “sins”
1. When used as a dialogue tag
This is when an adverb is used to describe how someone said something. Eg. “Why are you such a dork?” He asked, playfully.
This example breaks the “show don’t tell” rule of writing. In this example how he asked the question is told to the reader, when his “playfulness” would be better shown to the reader. Eg. He poked me in the belly and smiled, “why are you such a dork?” he asked.
2. Weak adverbs
This is when an adverb is used in place of a better verb to describe something. Once you’ve identified your adverbs ask yourself if a stronger verb can be used in it’s place. Eg. “The coffee smelled warmly” this is a weak sentence…but “The smell of coffee warmed the room.” Is stronger. By replacing the adverb with a strong verb (warmed) the sentence is strengthened.
Intensifier adverbs are absolutely, really, very terrible. Beware of words such as: absolutely, really, etc. as they are only there to intensify a verb. They are rarely necessarily, and a lot of the time they are annoying. With Nanowrimo coming up intensifier adverbs will likely make their way into your work (they do help with word count and may be added subconsciously for that reason). It’s okay if they do, just make sure you catch them in your edits.
Keep in mind that adverbs can add depth to your writing, just make sure they are earning their place in your work before letting them stick around.
I got my art project back, got the best grade too! Here you see it in all it’s glory!
The first picture is an overview of the shoebox. We have Cecil’s booth, the control room, stations Management’s door, the break room and the bathroom.
Second picture is a close up of the break room, where we see a list of Night Vales interns, a box of girl scout cookies, a water automat, a plant (if you look close you might see the scorpion there). The black slug on the floor is Tock from “he says he is an experimental theologian” (a beautiful fanfic by SailorPtah, you can find their work here X)
Next up we got the corner where Dana killed her double and the station management door with a letter in front, management is probably not happy cos everyone is out.
Bathroom! With Khoshekh, and a stall, I even did some writing on the stall wall. (And yes there is a hand under the sink)
Next up a close up of the booth and control room, and Cecil’s work space. The text on the mug reads “I <3 Night Vale"
Next a close up of the station management’s door. Some of you may have noticed that the control room don’t have a door, I was going to make one but forgot, then I remembered but didn’t do anything, because I thought, "this is Night Vale, let’s just paint a door on and pretend it’s nothing.” That did seem to work, my teacher didn’t notice.
It was a lot of hard work but it was really fun, I enjoy making ridiculous small details and hiding them, if you wanna see more pictures just send me a message, same goes for if you have questions.
The only sad thing is that I don’t know what I’ll do with it now. I hardly have any use for it, it’s taking up a lot of space, and I’m moving, wouldn’t be sad to trow it away.