I read one little article about writing structure and all hell broke loose. The joke was:
“You we’re just saying you hate -ly words and I just typed two.” He smiled a devious smile.
“Not in the same sentence, you didn’t.” I shouted.
My editor is amazing! Michelle keeps me straight. She never called me out about the excessive use of -ly but she stays on my like a bad habit about just about everything else! I have been in a continuous mode of upgrade since I started back on my writing journey and working closely with her again. CLOSELY!!
So about this -ly…
-ly is your enemy, writer friends.
Dictionary.com defines the suffix -ly as an adjective suffix meaning “-like”. Do you want your work to sound like a valley girl constantly? Like, like, like, like, like. This isn’t Facebook. This is creative writing.
- He moved quickly to the other room. = He raced to the other room.
- Michael said calmly. = Michael spoke with a serene expression.
- His suit fit too loosely, = His suit fit like a five-year-old in their dad’s clothes.
Even those sentences can be better, but you see my point?
-ly is a creativity killer. It’s the easy way out. It’s for chumps! In my opinion, you should never use them. You are not a chump!
Get rid of it and get creative!
Comment with your best tips to avoid -ly below!